Louis van Gaal appears to have backed down on his previous insistence that a transfer can completed in 24 hours.
The Manchester United manager seemed to perform a U-turn in his Friday press conference as the Dutchman spoke about new injuries in the team’s midfield, something that will make fans even more keen for action on the transfer front.
In the build-up to the season opener against Swansea City, Van Gaal appeared in buoyant mood and reassured fans that transfers could be completed in less than a day but the manager appeared altogether less confident this afternoon and his tone was one of pessimism rather than the optimism of just seven days ago.
Perhaps Van Gaal’s mood reflects that of the fans who are now resigned to the fact that none of the three summer signings will feature at Sunderland on Sunday. Luke Shaw was already on the injury list and he was joined by Ander Herrera, who has an ankle problem, whilst latest recruit Marcos Rojo doesn’t yet have a work permit allowing him to make his Premier League debut this weekend.
“A player you can buy in 24 hours, believe me. That’s not a problem.” Louis van Gaal
Rumours of the impending departure of Real Madrid star Angel di Maria gave fans a reason to be cheerful and that has been emphasised by the fact it appears the winger will be left out of the squad to face Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
However, backtracking over transfer claims was something United fans became all too familiar with under Sir Alex Ferguson and Van Gaal’s latest press conference won’t have reassured anybody that the required personnel will arrive before 1 September.
After last season’s calamity under David Moyes, even the most hardy United fans have been taken over by a wave of pessimism and it appears they have every reason to be worried. The only saving grace is that after everything Ed Woodward has said over the summer, he can’t afford to mess up another summer transfer window and will surely be pushing as hard as possible to seal big name signings in time for the deadline.
Reservations remain over Woodward’s credentials and Di Maria would certainly go a long way to stopping those criticisms but every United supporter knows it’s going to take more than one winger to make Manchester United title challengers again.