herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

'buy me a team to win league'

Van Gaal challenges board to spend big in summer

Louis van Gaal has challenged Ed Woodward and the Manchester United board to buy him a team capable of winning the Premier League title.

The Dutchman guided United back into the Champions League in his first year at Old Trafford, after spending more than £150m last summer on six new players, including Angel Di Maria for a British record fee.

But he insists that if he's expected to mount a serious title challenge next season, the board will have to spend to help him assemble a squad capable of doing it.

Van Gaal said: "The board of Manchester United shall say now we have to battle for the championship.

"It's a fantastic challenge but that's also dependable on how we can purchase very good players and how we can improve our balance in our selection.

"When you see against Arsenal what I have to do to change, I have to put players on other positions that I never play and that's a pity because the balance in our play was not good.

"We need two players in every position and then they can perform more easily.

"The board has purchased me to win the title and my curriculum says that.

AMBITION

"Of course I want to win titles and I want to win it for the fans but also for myself.

"The biggest challenge is what your ambition is and my ambition is to give titles but it is not easy.

"We will fight till the end and I shall give everything in me to build a new champions team."

Meanwhile, right-back Antonio Valencia has undergone an operation, although the extent of his injury was not revealed.

A day after United's final game of the season at Hull, Valencia posted a picture of himself on Instagram in a hospital bed after surgery.

"Thank to God everything went well. And now just thinking about recovery," he posted, before a second picture was uploaded of the Ecuadorian with his family.

Valencia suffered just two injuries during 2014-15 and was virtually an ever-present for Louis van Gaal at right-back, once the Dutchman settled on a back four in late January.

Only David de Gea and Wayne Rooney played more games than Valencia, who made 34 appearances in what was his seventh season at United.

Hull striker Abel Hernandez has been charged with violent conduct after allegedly punching Manchester United defender Phil Jones during Sunday's 0-0 draw between the sides.

The incident, which happened in the 70th minute of the game, was not spotted by the match officials and will now be referred to a three-man panel of former elite referees.

A Football Association statement read: "Abel Hernandez has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials, but caught on video.

"The Hull City player was involved in an incident with Manchester United's Phil Jones in the 70th minute of the game on Sunday.

"Off the ball incidents in Premier League matches which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees. Each panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.

"For retrospective action to be taken, the decision by the panel must be unanimous. Hernandez has until 6pm on Wednesday 27 May to reply to the charge."

The 24-year-old Uruguayan, a £9.5million signing from Palermo last summer, had been introduced as a replacement for defender James Chester shortly before the incident as manager Steve Bruce looked to snatch victory in a game his side simply had to win to stand any chance of avoiding relegation.

In the event, Newcastle's United's 2-0 defeat of West Ham would have sent the Tigers down even if they had managed to collect all three points from a fixture in which the visitors had midfielder Marouane Fellaini dismissed by referee Lee Probert for an ugly challenge on defender Paul McShane.

If Hernandez either admits or is found guilty of the charge he will miss the first three games of next season's Sky Bet Championship campaign, should he remain at the KC Stadium.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News