Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes is reunited with Louis van Gaal at Manchester UnitedGetty

Manchester United have confirmed ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will join them to continue his rehabilitation from a long-term cruciate ligament injury.

Although the club have been careful not to suggest there is any view of a permanent deal at this stage, reports are already suggesting the Spaniard's spell training with the first team will act as an audition for a spot in Louis van Gaal's squad.

Valdes is one of a host of names to have benefited from the Dutchman's penchant for taking chances on prodigious young talents over the years.

The former Netherlands manager has been credited with introducing the likes of Carlos Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Xavi into the first team at the Nou Camp in addition to Valdes, something the goalkeeper has never forgotten.

"Thank you to Louis van Gaal, for showing the courage necessary to gamble on a talent that only he could see," Valdes proclaimed during his final weeks at the Catalan giants in May.

"He began building this historic Barça side, which I have been privileged to be part of. My heartfelt thanks."

However, things were not always rosy between the two. In his second spell at the club in 2002, Van Gaal demanded the club take action after a 20-year-old Valdes refused to turn up to training.

The youngster had made nine appearances for the club that season before Van Gaal took the unusual step of placing him back in Barcelona B's ranks as Argentine shot-stopper Roberto Bonano regained first-team duties.

Bemused with his treatment believing he had received no just explanation for his demotion, Valdes hit out at the Dutchman and stayed away from training for three days.

"He has not turned up for training and I see that as a refusal to work," Van Gaal said in 2002. "The club now has to solve the problem.

"At Barcelona the technical director makes the final decisions in conjunction with the board of directors and the president, and they will have to see what to do."

And thus an impasse between the young goalkeeper and Van Gaal formed. The Dutchman infamously failed to see eye to eye with Rivaldo and Juan Roman Riquelme during his spells in Cataluña and the intervention of club president Joan Gaspart was needed to prevent Valdes leaving Barcelona before he even had the chance to etch his name in their history.

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal and Victor Valdes have not always got on wellGetty

Not one for accommodating the influence of board members in first-team business, Van Gaal waved away the president's attempts but did to some extent reconcile with the renegade goalkeeper. A quote from the Dutchman during a press conference 12 years ago ended on a rather ominous note, however, when quizzed on Valdes."I forgive, but not forget."

Van Gaal wouldn't survive the rest of that season after terrible results at the club. It was only under the management of another Dutchman, Frank Rijkaard, did Valdes consolidate his place in the first team in 2003.

Fast forward 12 years and Valdes stands as one of the most decorated goalkeepers in modern football while Van Gaal is busying himself in perhaps his toughest role in club football in re-establishing Manchester United as a dominant force.

In that time both the player and the manager have grown. Valdes' comments in May suggest he has absolutely no ill-feeling towards the Dutchman. The offer to train with the club extended by Van Gaal would suggest the feeling is mutual.

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