We were not interested in Pedro, Van Gaal says

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has played down the club’s interest in signing Pedro from Barcelona after the Spanish international decided to join Premier League champions Chelsea.

He also defended executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who was widely reported to have flown to Barcelona to tie up the deal.

Van Gaal stressed that United were still an attractive option for any player they wanted to bring to the club.

“I think when Manchester United wants a player he shall come, besides when a club is not selling. It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea.”

He blamed the media for exaggerating his interest in Pedro.

“When you asked me if Pedro fits my profile, I agreed. But I didn’t say I am interested in the player, that’s the difference,” the Dutchman told a news conference.

“I think if we wanted Pedro it wouldn’t have been hard to get him since he had a release clause in his contract. It was the easiest transfer,” he added.

“I have the idea you want to create a rift between Ed Woodward and I. That will not happen because he gives me updates every day and I trust him.”

The Dutchman would not comment on speculation linking United with Southampton’s Senegal forward Sadio Mane, saying that with a squad of 28 players he was not under any pressure to make new signings.

Memphis Depay, recruited before the start of the season, was impressive as United beat Bruges 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying round match on Tuesday, giving them a third win out of three.

United drew 0-0 with Newcastle in match played at old Trafford Saturday afternoon.

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