Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal confirms interest in Roma's Kevin Strootman but ignores Jose Mourinho jibe

Mourinho said signing Luke Shaw would've 'killed' Chelsea due to his wage demands

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed an interest in the Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman but insisted that he will need to assess how the 24-year-old recovers from a six-month lay-off before making a move for the Roma midfielder.

Van Gaal, whose side play Roma here today, had intended to take Stootman to Brazil with in his Netherlands World Cup squad but has only just begun light training after surgery on a cruciate knee injury he suffered in March.

The manager said that the length of the lay-off created uncertainty about him. “Strootman I can judge, but he is injured for more than six months,” the manager said. “We have to wait and see how he comes back. It is not easy to say how he comes back from injury, but we will wait and see.”

Van Gaal refused to discuss whether another Roma player, French-born Moroccan centre half Mehdi Benatia, might be a United target and also ducked the first missile lobbed in his direction from Chelsea Jose Mourinho, once a protégée of his.

Mourinho said that the wage demands of Chelsea-supporting Luke Shaw  had prevented him from signing the left back.


“If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead,” he said. “We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room. Van Gaal replied: “I don't have to answer, I don't think I have to discuss things the media. It’s better to discuss it with Jose.”

Van Gaal, who confirmed that Rafael da Silva will miss today’s game with a groin strain, declared the biggest adjustment for the squad he has taken over is their learning to play more cerebrally.

Asked if British players found adjusting to his fast-moving passing game harder than his new charges at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, he said: “Maybe Barcelona was different at the time, but Bayern have always played 4-4-2 and I introduced the system they are playing now and it was a different thing for the players. The important thing is that I am training the players not in the legs, but in their brain. Brainpower. That is important thing. I say things how they are. It is my direct character.”

Read more: Manchester United to honour cheap kit price after website error
Louis van Gaal is a YouTube hit with training antics
Angel Di Maria set to chose between Man Utd and PSG

Van Gaal criticised the decision to stage the match at 2pm local time, when temperatures are likely to be fierce, resembling the furnace at Fortaleza where his Dutch players beat Mexico in the World Cup last 16. He made the unusual move of naming two players – Tom Cleverley and young left back Tyler Blackett – who will play the full 90 minutes.

“It is unbelievable that we play at two o’clock,” Van Gaal said. “We will adapt to the situation because all the players will play for 45 minutes except Cleverley. “For the players, it is very hard and I hope I can persuade the referee to have a drinks break as I did in Fortaleza. We have sports science department and it shall be done very well with the conditions, especially those players who will play 45 minutes.

Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal

The manager clearly believes that there is work still be done to bring United’s players to the standard he demands. “This morning was not a good session, it was 11 v 11 and we simulated an opponent and it wasn’t so good,” he said. “Tonight we saw set-play, yellow [bibs] were better than red [shirts]. They make the pitch big and then make it very compact when they lose the ball. I see progression every day, but also not good things. We are here to improve, though.”

The Dutchman was at the hub of training once again last night, blowing a whistle to command players when to deliver crosses and corners. There was less voluble criticism, with only Chris Smalling getting a public rebuke, and part of the session involved hi preparing for the penalty shoot-out which will come tonight of the sides are level. “Anyone want to take a penalty?” he asked. All the players put their spot kicks past Ben Amos.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style