Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will face the media today with a number of burning issues to be dealt with.
United’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s late kick-off with Liverpool will give the Dutchman the chance to give his version of the David de Gea transfer saga, amongst other things.
De Gea – who has not played this season as a result of Real Madrid’s interest – looked set for a deadline-day move until a last-minute hitch scuppered the deal.
Reports on Thursday night said that the Spain goalkeeper was now in talks to extend his contract at Old Trafford, which currently runs until the end of the season.
There is now also a chance that De Gea will come into Van Gaal’s thinking for the Liverpool game.
Van Gaal will also likely be asked about new recruit Anthony Martial – who he was quoted on Thursday as saying cost “a ridiculous amount of money” – while some reports have said Van Gaal has been told by senior players that his training methods are stifling their creativity.
United did not wish to comment on that report from The Times on Thursday, but Van Gaal may well be probed in person.
On the field, Luke Shaw believes he is playing the best football of his career after a tough first season.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed an impressive start to the season with both United and England having struggled in his debut year at Old Trafford.
Shaw moved to United from Southampton last summer for £30million to become the most expensive teenager in football – a record since smashed when the Red Devils moved for Martial for £36million on transfer deadline day.
But, despite starring for Saints in his breakthrough season, a number of injuries and a poor run of form saw him make just 15 Premier League starts as Daley Blind became Louis van Gaal’s first-choice left-back.
This season he has hit the ground running for both club and country and is pleased to have turned things around.
”Obviously last season was very difficult for me,” he said.
”I just feel fresh and fit and hopefully I can get a run of games now and keep my performances up. I trained before I went back to pre-season. That was a massive help to me and now I just want to keep on playing well.
”It was made hard with the injuries that I picked up. I didn’t expect that to happen as much as it did.
”I think that is what knocked my confidence down, I never got fully fit, so whenever I was playing I wasn’t at my best and I didn’t feel at my best. Now I am playing and I feel great.
”To be honest I feel better than I did at Southampton. Game by game I feel like I’m getting stronger, especially in training. I just want to keep it up now and pray there are no injuries.”