Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has accused former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov of being bitter, reports the Daily Mail.
The ex-Blaugrana ace had accused the Dutchman of ‘destroying’ the Catalan club amid pleas for Pedro to stay at the Nou Camp. However, the 63-year-old believes the Bulgarian is only against him as he sold him when in charge of the La Liga giants.
“Players suffer, because as a player he was so mediocre,” said Stoichkov, “He destroys players because he was so mediocre. Look at the players who have left because of him. His first time at Barca he destroyed them, now he has invented another one to destroy and take years to rebuild.
“It turns out he needs €200m (£141m) to spend and the other day I saw his first Premier League game. It was a disaster. United won 1-0 with an own goal and he’s content. You have to have a short memory. I would never leave if I was Pedro, never, because if he goes there he’s just another player. I wish he would listen to me and say “I’m staying in Barcelona.”
Van Gaal reacted to these comments with some sharp words for his former charge.
“I always want to consider who is saying such things and I already know why,” he said, “It is not bothering me. As a manager, I have to decide a lot of things. He is one of the players I sent away and that is why he is doing that.
They can comment but it is not always the truth what they have saying. That is always so in this world, especially in the football world. I’m used to that.
“When you hear that from Italy, (Luca) Toni says the same things. There are more players who are speaking highly about me than I have players that are saying the things that Toni or Stoichkov are saying.”
United are edging closer to a deal for Pedro, who could be the perfect replacement for the recently departed Angel Di Maria. The Argentinian has joined PSG, and even though Memphis Depay has joined the Red Devils there is likely to be another player in his position brought in.
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Able to play on either wing, the Spain international has also got the experience of winning almost every competition possible for his country and Barcelona. This could be vital as United aim to get back winning trophies in the near future.