Angel Di Maria is 'a big loss' for Manchester United, says Louis van Gaal

'Rhythm of the English game' to blame for Di Mari's failure

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The Independent Online

Louis van Gaal has said that the reason for Angel Di Maria leaving Manchester United is that he struggled to adapt to the rhythm of the English game and the English culture.

Di Maria, 27, was sold to Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday for £46million just 12 months after the club paid a British record £59.7m to bring him to Old Trafford from Real Madrid.

Di Maria started well but his form quickly dropped off because of injury; he was also unsettled after a burglary in January and started just one game in the final three months of the season

Di Maria claimed at his unveiling in the French capital on Thursday that United wanted him out of the club, but Van Gaal seems to think otherwise.

"For us that's a big loss," Van Gaal said of the former Real Madrid star.

"I want more attackers with speed and creativity. Di Maria is one of those players so we have to look for that kind of player, but they have to have the talent to cope with the English rhythm and that's difficult to find.

"That's why players are not having success in this competition - because of the rhythm of the game and the English culture is another culture as the Latin culture. Maybe that's a reason (he left)."

Although he will not speak publicly on the matter, Van Gaal is expected to sign Barcelona forward Pedro as Di Maria's replacement.

As well as De Gea, Van Gaal confirmed new summer signing Bastian Schweinsteiger is not available for Saturday's curtain-raiser at Old Trafford.

"Schweinsteiger came (to us) at the last moment, out of his holidays," Van Gaal said of the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

"I don't think he's fit enough, so we have to build him to the fitness I think he needs."

Another player who is unlikely to feature is defender Marcos Rojo, who missed the second leg of United's tour because of passport issues.

"Not everybody is ready because players came (back) at a later time," Van Gaal said.

"I like them to come on July 3, but Rojo for example came one week ago."

Additional reporting from PA

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