Saturday 2 May 2015 10:11, UK
Louis van Gaal says record signing Angel di Maria’s first season at Manchester United has been ‘a disappointment’.
But the United manager feels the £59.7m midfielder will not leave the club in the summer, following reports he is a transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain.
Di Maria was Real Madrid’s man of the match in the Champions League final last season and was also in the Argentina side which reached the World Cup final.
Since moving to Old Trafford, however, Di Maria has only scored three times, and van Gaal admits he has not been pleased with the player’s contribution.
"He cannot say that he has had a marvellous season here," Van Gaal said.
"Normally Di Maria should have played, but the last weeks he doesn't play anymore and the team is winning. Now, we are losing, so the chance of him coming back is higher. It is always like that. It is never that it is not like that.
"The issue that he is not always in the line-up is for him a disappointment, but also for me a disappointment."
The former Barcelona coach conceded there is no guarantee that the player will perform better next season after a long holiday.
"I hope," Van Gaal said with a chuckle when asked if the World Cup was the reason behind Di Maria's poor form.
"You cannot always say that is the main factor. Of course, it plays a role, and I hope it is that, because then we can have a fantastic season next season.
"You have to adapt to our philosophy and that is also difficult for him, probably. Normally he shall have a fantastic season - I believe in that."
With that in mind, Van Gaal has no plans to sell Di Maria, whose family were subjected to a terrifying burglary in January during United’s home game against Leicester.
"I think Di Maria shall stay," the United manager said. "He is working hard. I am pleased with his attitude, so that is not a problem.
"The manager and the club is always dependable on the opinion of the player himself. The player decides. We shall see what he decides.
"The decision is not only to him because now we have a contract, so we shall speak always with every player - evaluation, as I always do.
"Then we speak with each other about the future, and that is with every player."