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Thursday 8 December 2016

LVG: there will be no exodus

Van Gaal expects United stars to stay if they fail in bid to reach top four

(l-r) Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and manager Louis van Gaal Photo: PA
(l-r) Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and manager Louis van Gaal Photo: PA

Louis van Gaal does not expect any Manchester United player to agitate for an exit if the club fail to reach the Champions League.

United head into today's clash with rudderless Aston Villa four points shy of fourth-placed Manchester City, but even usurping their neighbours may not be enough to secure Champions League football.

A maximum of five teams from one league can qualify for the competition, meaning if City and Liverpool both finish outside the top four but seal European glory then fourth spot would become a Europa League berth.

That would be a gut punch but Van Gaal is confident United would recover, especially as the manager does not expect any player to want to leave if they miss out on the Champions League.

"There is not any player who wants to go away, I think," the Dutchman said.

"And when another club wants to pay the figures that the board of Manchester United demand, then it is possible.

"But that is dependent on the board, of the decision of the board if a player can go."

Asked again whether players would want to leave for Champions League football, Van Gaal added: "I don't think so, I don't think so."

However, missing out on the Champions League would likely kick-start Real Madrid's interest in David de Gea.

Madrid were willing to part with £29million and Keylor Navas to sign the goalkeeper last summer, but the relevant paperwork was not completed before the 11pm deadline. De Gea subsequently signed a new four-year deal at United but the Spanish international remains a Bernabeu target.

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