Manchester United transfer latest: Louis van Gaal defends Ed Woodward, but refuses to explain why Pedro deal collapsed

The Spain international joined Chelsea instead of making the move to Old Trafford

Simon Rice
Friday 21 August 2015 11:16
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has defended Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward amid growing concerns about Manchester United's transfer policy.

Woodward was criticised yesterday as Pedro and Nicolas Otamendi - two players targeted by Manchester United - joined rivals Chelsea and Manchester City respectively.

With United looking short on attacking options, failing to bolster their defence and ongoing uncertainty over David De Gea's future, there are fears this summer could be judged badly in terms of transfer dealings.

However, Van Gaal maintains he has a good relationship with Woodward and has faith in his ability to bring the best players to Old Trafford.

"I have the idea you want to separate Ed Woodward with me. Never. Never," the United boss said in a spiky press conference.

"Because every day I am updated by him and I trust him."

Van Gaal added: "I don't think they (the critics) have to doubt Ed Woodward because he has proven already for many, many years he is the right person on the right spot."

United were aware for some time that Pedro wanted to leave Barcelona after becoming frustrated by a lack of first-team football.

Woodward flew into Catalonia on Monday in an attempt to finalise a deal for the 28-year-old, who had a buy-out clause of £21.5m written into his contract.

But three days later, the World Cup winner signed for Chelsea.

Louis van Gaal alongside Ed Woodward

At a press conference last week, Van Gaal said Pedro fitted the profile of the kind of quick and creative player he wanted.

But when asked about the forward this week, the Dutchman refused to divulge the reason why he had not signed the Canary Islander.

"I cannot answer these questions," Van Gaal said before launching a tirade at the media.

"When you ask me, 'Is Pedro fitting the profile?', I cannot lie, I said 'Yes'. But I do not say that I'm interested in the player. That is the difference. But you say I'm interested. No, I answered the question. It's different.

"What is written in the newspapers is not true, you cannot know it. Only the players know it and the clubs know it."

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