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Saturday 10 December 2016

Carry on Louis

Van Gaal's scouting missions points to third season at United

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal had scouts watching Schalke's Leroy Sane and Sporting Lisbon's Joao Mario Photo: PA
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal had scouts watching Schalke's Leroy Sane and Sporting Lisbon's Joao Mario Photo: PA

Louis van Gaal is carrying on regardless. While the rest of the world debates Manchester United's next move in the manager merry-go round, the Dutchman is making plans.

Tonight's out of step final fixture against Bournemouth at Old Trafford comes after a weekend when Van Gaal sent scouts to watch winger Leroy Sane score for Schalke and Portugal international Joao Mario star for Sporting Lisbon.

Mario was reportedly the subject of a £27m bid from PSG in the the last few days and is on the books of Jorge Mendes.

United's interest in Mario perhaps reflects the growing relationship between the most influential super-agent in the game and Old Trafford CEO Ed Woodward.

But Woodward will have to fight off interest from Pep Guardiola, Manchester City and and Barcelona in Sane, the other target they scouted over the weekend and pay dearly to prise him loose from Schalke.

The Bundesliga club has rubbished reports of a £28m buy-out in his contract and claim a value closer to £40m.

Van Gaal is expected to field a full-strength team tonight aheaf of Saturday's FA Cup final while Bournemouth can bank an extra £2.5million if they win and jump two places to 14th in the Premier league table.

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