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Thursday 8 December 2016

Van Gaal: I don't know if David De Gea will still be a Manchester United player on Tuesday

David De Gea has not played for Manchester United yet this season
David De Gea has not played for Manchester United yet this season
Louis van Gaal's Manchester United lost twice to Swansea last season

Louis van Gaal has admitted he does not know if David De Gea will still be a Manchester United player after Tuesday.

Van Gaal said 10 days ago that De Gea would not be leaving the club after a stand-off which has seen last season's United player of the year banished to the sidelines this term amid strong interest from Real Madrid.

But Van Gaal's position appeared to soften following United's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Swansea on Sunday, in which Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero might have done better for both the home side's goals.

READ MORE: Keylor Navas performance leaves Real Madrid fans wondering about David De Gea

The Spanish transfer window closes at midnight on Monday - 18 hours before it does so in England - and when asked whether De Gea would stay, Van Gaal replied: "I don't know.

"We have to wait and see but I don't want to interfere.

READ MORE: Van Gaal stands by his keeper Sergio Romero after Swans defeat

"As a manager we have divided our tasks and the task is for Ed Woodward (United chief executive) and not for me.

"You can ask all the players but you have to wait and see until Manchester United make an announcement, or the club where he is going to make an announcement. Otherwise he stays.

"But we have coped with the situation by buying Romero. That is what we have done as a club to settle that issue. We have done it well."

Van Gaal refused to discuss reports linking Javier Hernandez with a pre-deadline transfer move to German club Bayer Leverkusen but he was more forthcoming in his defence of Romero.

Juan Mata had given United the lead just after half-time but the contest was turned round between the 61st and 66th minutes, with Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis strikes repeating Swansea's 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium in February.

Romero might have got a hand to Ayew's downward header and he certainly should have done better as Gomis' shot squirmed past him at the near post.

"You can write everything you want," he said when asked about Romero's performance.

"What I always say is defending starts in front and not only in the last line.

"You can always analyse errors but I don't think that is a good way.

"You have to see the way the team is defending as a team and then I know what errors have been made.

"At the end, of course, the pressure for the last defender or goalkeeper is always higher. I don't agree when you only say the goalkeeper was not so good."

Swansea's victory moved them into the top four at United's expense and it was the third time that manager Garry Monk has got the better of Van Gaal.

Monk has been keen to play down expectations that Swansea could better last season's club-best eighth-placed finish, but he insisted his side remain a match for anyone after taking eight points from their opening four games.

"We go into the international break unbeaten and hopefully the players come back refreshed and we go again," Monk said.

"The bottom line is that we are a good team and everyone is clear in their jobs.

"You could see the commitment and the work-rate that they need to do, and hopefully we have an exciting season.

"I'm excited to be part of it and hopefully we can take it forward."

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