Van Gaal happy de Gea will sign new contract

Victor Valdes: United boss Van Gaal expects his new arrival to battle hard for a place in the first team.

Van Gaal happy de Gea will sign new contract

Louis van Gaal is confident David de Gea will resist Real Madrid’s overtures and sign a new contract with Manchester United. Van Gaal completed his seventh signing of the season on Thursday when Victor Valdes put pen to paper on an 18-month deal.

The arrival of the highly-decorated former Barcelona goalkeeper prompted speculation regarding the future of De Gea, whose contract expires at the end of next season. Real Madrid are reported to have identified De Gea as the man they want to replace Iker Casillas as their first-choice goalkeeper.

Senior sources at United are understood to be “relaxed” about De Gea’s situation and Van Gaal himself appears to have little doubt his no.1 will stay. “I think so, yes,” Van Gaal said when asked if De Gea’s long-term future was at United.

Having won six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues with Barcelona, Valdes, like Van Gaal, is well-accustomed to success. The Dutchman therefore expects his new arrival to battle hard for a place in the first team.

“Nobody is happy to be number two and he has to have ambition to beat David De Gea — but it shall be very hard for him,” Van Gaal said.

“David de Gea has developed himself in the six months I’ve been here very much. I’m very pleased with his development.”

Van Gaal, who handed Valdes his Barca debut 13 years ago, is satisfied the player has fully recovered from his injury.

“When we invite Victor Valdes to have his rehabilitation here in Manchester United you do that for him and also for yourself,” Van Gaal said.

“You have the chance to see his rehabilitation but also if his quality is still the same and he has confirmed both.”

The signing of Valdes, who was linked with Liverpool, is a clear indication Van Gaal is ready to snap up any of his targets if they become available this month.

“We were very quick to buy Victor Valdes. Did you notice (that)?” the former Bayern Munich coach said.

“When we can, we deal quickly.”

Van Gaal had already spent £155m on new players last summer.”My ambition is that I have the best players who can collaborate with each other to form the best team in the world,” he said.

De Gea has played a big part in the 10-match unbeaten run that has propelled United into third position in the Premier League. Despite the recent upturn in form, Van Gaal is still not completely happy with his team and has bigger aims than qualifying for the Champions League.

Van Gaal’s ability to get United back into the Champions League will be helped hugely if the injury situation at Old Trafford remains as it is.

The Dutchman is without just one player — Ashley Young — for the visit of Southampton.

“I am very happy,” Van Gaal said.

“We only have one player injured. That’s the first time that has happened in my career at Manchester United.”

That means Daley Blind is in line to make his return from a two-month knee injury layoff and Luke Shaw will also be available to face his old club.

Shaw has only made 10 appearances for United since his £28 million move from Saints due to two ankle injuries and a hamstring problem.

Van Gaal again refused to discuss whether long-term targets like Kevin Strootman or Mats Hummels would also be coming to Old Trafford this month.

“I don’t discuss that with you,” Van Gaal said with a smile.

“You can ask it another way but I am always saying the same answer.”

“I am very happy,” Van Gaal said.

“We only have one player injured. That’s the first time that has happened in my career at Manchester United.”

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