Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao could start against Aston VillaGetty

Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria is in contention to return against Aston Villa on Saturday 20 December, while Radamel Falcao could start just his fourth game of the season, manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed.

The Argentine international has missed the club's last three games with a hamstring problem but had been tipped to make his return at Villa Park.

But Van Gaal insists he is not satisfied with the player's match fitness, although the Premier League's record signing is likely to settle for role to play off the bench.

"He has trained this week with us but he's not match-fit after one week," Van Gaal told a press conference. "Maybe I shall select him for the bench, or maybe not. I have to make my decision because we have one training [session] to go."

Van Gaal has adopted a similar approach with Falcao in recent weeks. The Colombia international returned to training late last month after recovering from a calf injury but his manager has been wary of throwing him straight back into the first team.

Falcao has made cameo appearances off the bench in three of United's last four games but Van Gaal has hinted the on-loan star will be in contention to start against Paul Lambert's side.

He said: "He shows fitness in the training sessions, so maybe I shall select him for the bench or maybe I shall select him for the [starting] line-up. Wait and see."

Off the pitch, the subject of a new contract for David de Gea has dominated following the Spaniard's spectacular form this season. More heroics against Liverpool on Sunday 14 December intensified such talk but Van Gaal has warned the press to wait until the club speak on the matter.

He said: "No news, otherwise we would give that news. But first on MUTV - it is logical."

United are looking for their seventh straight victory on Saturday but, despite that impressive run that has lifted them to third in the table, Van Gaal is still looking for his side to produce "the perfect game".

"I'm not only focused on results though of course that's the main thing,' he said. 'When I speak to Sir Alex, he says 'what's the problem, you've won'. But when you perform well you shall win more and that's what I want to show to the fans and the players want it also. The guarantee of wins is better when you perform better.

"For example, the game against Hull was a good game. We dominated for 90 minutes and I want to see more game like that. There are too few games we are dominating 90 minutes. That's the process. We have to wait and see but, of course, when you win six times a row then the confidence is rising.

"I'm still looking for a game that is closer to the perfect game that we've given until now."