Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal wants Radamel Falcao to prove fitness before signing striker permanently

Van Gaal also snapped at questions aimed at David De Gea's long-term future with United and the prospect of Victor Valdes joining Liverpool

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The Independent Online

Louis van Gaal has refused to elaborate on whether he will activate the clause in Radamel Falcao’s contract to keep him at Manchester United beyond the end of the season.

Falcao has featured sparingly since completing his season-long loan move to Old Trafford, with injury hampering him throughout the early weeks of his stay in the Premier League. However, his return to fitness has not seen him break into the first-team squad, and he has had to make do with sub-20 minute cameos from the bench in recent weeks.

The Colombian striker has expressed his desire to remain with the club beyond the end of the season when he is due to return to French side Monaco, but admitted that a lack of football could see him change his mind before it comes down to decision time.

 

Van Gaal, perhaps mindful that a number of questions still remain hanging over Falcao and his long-term fitness given his serious knee injury last season, admitted that his decision would be swayed by whether he can prove his fitness and subsequently impress for the first team.

"He hasn't played so much," Van Gaal said when asked about triggering the £43.5m clause for Falcao.

"You cannot see too much of a player if he doesn't train so much. He has been injured a lot of time. First you have to be fit.

"Now he shows fitness in the training sessions so maybe I shall select him (against Aston Villa), maybe for the bench or the line-up. Let's wait and see."

While the desire to see Falcao return to his peak condition was not the most surprising thing he has said during his five-month reign, his response to questions regarding the goalkeeping situation at the club was far more startling.

Van Gaal was asked whether contract negotiations with David De Gea had progressed, with United looking to keep the Spaniard beyond 2018 when his current deal is due to expire. De Gea has arguably been United’s best player this season, and took the plaudits in the 3-0 win over Liverpool last time out with a string of saves from efforts by Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli.

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Van Gaal appeared less than impressed with some questions

Yet just like he did after the match on Sunday, Van Gaal snapped when quizzed whether there were any new developments on De Gea’s contract.

“No,” said the Dutchman sharply, before being asked further questions on whether former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes – who is currently training with the club at Carrington – would be signing for Liverpool as a replacement for Simon Mignolet.

"Ok, then he goes to Liverpool... You are suggesting and it's a big mistake to do that as the media,” snarled Van Gaal.

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United goalkeeper celebrates the 3-0 victory over Liverpool

"That's why I am always angry because you are inventing stories. There are no stories. He is training here. I give him the possibility and then we shall see."

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