Manutd.com is always well worth a read and they have given a fascinating insight into the transfer dealings of Manchester United by doing an interview with the current boss Louis van Gaal.
Discussing the process by which Manchester United approach players and clubs, Van Gaal is quoted as saying:
“I look for the players who fit our profile. Then I say to Ed [Woodward, executive vice-chairman], ‘I want that player first and that player second [choice]’. Then we go to the third when they [first and second] are not available. I am not buying, I don’t spend the money. He is negotiating, I am not.”
We like to think that Manchester United always get their first choice pick, or no one at all. But Van Gaal is a pragmatist and also a strong believer in his philosophy. He looks for a type that can fit the bill and then leaves the hard work to Ed Woodward, who seems to be growing into the role – that’s if the decisiveness of the Memphis Depay deal is anything to go by.
In evidence of Manchester United’s new found desire to spend big the boss was asked if the size of the potential fee comes into the equation:
“It’s dependable on a lot of questions. In my opinion, the first question is does the player fit the profile of the position that we want? That is the most important thing.
“Then the club shall negotiate, and then it [the fee] is out of my hands because I am not negotiating. Ed Woodward is doing that, I’m not the man who decides that.
“Of course, when you buy players for £80million, the pressure is unbelievably high and it’s not easy for the player either. But the most important thing is can he perform in the way we want him to?”
Asked if he had found it particularly tiring being the Manchester United manager during such a transitional phase in the club’s history, and being out of Europe, he said:
‘..because of the new situation, I have had to adapt as a manager. Not only the new players, but also the manager has to adapt to the culture of England and to the rhythm of this game. That’s exciting but also very difficult because I have to adapt my philosophy. No-one is asking for that, but it’s true.’
While it hasn’t always been that pleasant to watch this season, you have to say that when all is said and done, Van Gaal has succeeded in his first campaign in England. But he will hope for much more from his Manchester United team next season.