Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has refused to comment on stories linking the club with Barcelona star Neymar, but has revealed that he isn’t interested in signing another striker, reports talkSPORT.
However, the 63-year-old may not see the 23-year-old as an out-and-out centre-forward, a position that the Brazil international has rarely played for the Blaugrana. The youngster has largely featured on the left wing, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi taking the central role.
This means that van Gaal’s words may not mean that the club’s potential pursuit of Neymar is definitely off.
“I don’t enter into this discussion,” van Gaal said.
“You can ask about all the players in the world and you are doing it in every press conference and in everyone I have to say the same.
“I have to protect the interest of Manchester United. I have to protect the players in my selection. I have to protect the people in my organisation and you can say anything, you can mention any player but I can’t answer these questions. I know your problem because the media wants to know but I cannot say anything.”
However, when asked whether he wanted a new forward, he said: “No, because three times we were the better team.”
The Sun have linked United with a move for the former Santos ace, and it would be a major coup if the player completed a move to Old Trafford. However, the forward’s agent Wagner Ribeiro has dismissed the chances of a deal, claiming that his client is perfectly happy at the Nou Camp [Globo Esporte via Daily Express].
“There’s nothing. This is speculation summer window (European). Does not exist. He has three more years of contract,” said Ribeiro.
“English newspapers are very speculative. Barcelona never think about selling Neymar, and he is very happy there.”
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The Red Devils have already strengthened their front line with the addition of Memphis Depay this summer, and van Gaal may believe that this is enough for his team.
However, if they are going to challenge Manchester City and Chelsea for the Premier League title, they will surely need to improve in the final third. Their options don’t match up to the Citizens’ David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and the Stamford Bridge outfit’s Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.
Chelsea’s recent addition of Pedro also bolsters their forward line, placing the Blues’ options in stark contrast to those of United.