BBC Sport reported earlier this week that Van Gaal expected Di Maria to link up with the squad for pre-season, but he has now confirmed that the 27-year-old has not made it, despite officially stating that this was anything to do with transfer talks with the Ligue 1 champions.
He was replaced after 62 minutes as Van Gaal changed his entire starting XI – and afterwards Van Gaal was keen to praise the Spain global. “You can play against top level sides and it is a good way of preparing, because we are soon going to play for two titles (The European and Spanish Supercups)”. But storied histories and deep pockets are all that FC Barcelona and Manchester United have in common these days.
Di Maria is now on leave after representing Argentina at the Copa America, but Van Gaal insists the player will fly to the US on Saturday, as had been originally planned before the tour started. “He has passport issues, but for Di Maria, I don’t know why (he wasn’t on the plane.)”.
“I worked hard to get where I am today”, says Jesse. De Gea stopped another Suarez shot from about 6 yards just more than a minute later.
The goal boosted United and they grew in confidence, with Memphis Depay s movement and interplay again catching the eye for United.
A minute later the Uruguayan beat De Gea with a curling free-kick, but luckily for the Real Madrid target, the ball struck a post and bounced to safety.
They rode their luck at times, though.
Moments later De Gea was pressed into action when Sergi Roberto burst through only to shoot directly at the United keeper with the goal at his mercy.
“We created a lot of chances, more than Barcelona, so there I was pleased, and then the second half was with all the youngsters and we can maintain the same rhythm so I was happy.
Manchester United took full advantage of recently-crowned Champions League winners Barcelona – which is playing without two of the team’s most risky scorers – to take a 3-1 win in Saturday’s global Champions Cup match at Levi’s Stadium.
“I don’t know if I want to buy a striker”, Van Gaal said. “We need to be ready for that”.
With speculation mounting that a move to PSG is on the cards, he failed to join up with his current team-mates on their US pre-season tour as scheduled on Saturday.
“They have always a threat and that’s very important”, Van Gaal said.
Bates goes on to name Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett, Javier Hernandez and Ashley Young as players who could be offered as part of a player-plus-cash deal to tempt the Toffees.