What They Said: LVG on “ridiculous’ money spent on striker, Wenger almost joined Real Madrid


Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that the projected £58.8m paid by the club to sign Anthony Martial was ‘ridiculous’, but says the French striker is a player for the future.

According to reports from The Times, Martial is expected to his make his United debut against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Van Gaal acknowledged that the fee paid to Monaco to sign the 19-year-old was a “ridiculous amount of money” and reflective of the “crazy world we are in”.

The Dutchman is frustrated that critics are only focusing on the money they’ve spent (which he thinks United are routinely quoted £10m more for a player than other clubs) but largely ignore what has been recouped through player sales.

Van Gaal also insists that his successor at the club would be the main beneficiary of the Martial signing: “I have not bought Martial for me, I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United,” he said.

The United manager also hinted that Ryan Giggs could be the next United manager after he retires. LvG has also defended his decision to let Adnan Januzaj leave on loan to Borussia Dortmund, saying he had given the forward every chance to prove his worth, but the Belgian had failed to impress him.

He adds that Januzaj must improve his mentality and needs to play week in week out to develop. In his absence, Brazil’s U-20 midfielder, Andreas Pereira would be given a chance to stake a first team claim.

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has admitted that Los Blancos had nearly secured the signing of Arsene Wenger from Arsenal few years back, but the French insisted of staying at the Emirates.

“I imagine that anyone – be it a coach or a player – at some time in their career is interested in coming to a club like Real Madrid, especially when you have been at a club for fifteen years, or however long, in England.

“He was talking to me about Real Madrid and, at that time, he was very interested in the club and what was happening. I remember he said: “Are you going to Hollywood again, or to make a football team?” He meant are you going for film star Galacticos or to make a proper football team.

“It’s something you have in England that is a very good thing. You have it at Arsenal, you had at Manchester United, that the manager could stay at the club for a very long time. It’s impossible here.”

Calderon feels that Wenger is a very kind man and a really nice manager, and he would have been good at Madrid. But unlike Arsenal, here the fans demand for more every time, the club is expected to win trophies every year. He feels the Frenchman has probably taken the right decision by staying with Arsenal.

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