Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that goalkeeper David de Gea and Bastian Schweinsteiger are not ready for the first Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday (8 August 2015). The news comes amid further speculation linking the keeper with a move to Real Madrid – and question marks on the fitness of the midfielder. The Spanish international's future at Old Trafford has been under scrutiny since late last season, when it emerged that Los Blancos had earmarked him as their top priority to replace long-standing Real keeper Iker Casillas, who has joined Porto.
De Gea has still got a year remaining on his contract with the Premier League giants, but reports have nonetheless claimed that he is also likely to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu to return to his homeland. Van Gaal recently said that the situation had become frustrating for all parties involved in the negotiations, after De Gea had a bad performance in the last pre-season friendly against Paris Saint-Germain on 29 July.
And the Dutch boss is indeed now ready to leave him out of his first starting line-up of the campaign against Spurs, despite the fact that the Spaniard has arguably been Manchester United's best player during the last two campaigns. Van Gaal nevertheless refused to confirm whether new signing Sergio Romero, Anders Lindegaard or Sam Johnson would start between the sticks against Mauricio Pochettino's side.
"You will have to wait and see. But David de Gea is not considered ready for action. He shall not play, so I don't have any concerns. You know that we have problems with de Gea. The Dutch journalists can confirm that I think a human being is more than only a player and he cannot manage that," he said. The manager also confirmed that the rest of the squad is available to play, although Marcos Rojo and Schweinsteiger will still need some time to get fully fit after the Argentinian played the Copa America and the German joined the club "at the last moment out of his holidays".
"We have no injuries – it's unbelievable! But it is not possible for Marcos Rojo to be match fit as he was the last player to come back [to pre-season training]," he said. "There are players who came in later. Marcos Rojo came one week ago, Schweinsteiger came at the last moment out of his holidays, so I don't think he is fit enough. We have to build to the fitness that he needs."
Meanwhile, the club have also announced that the versatile Ashley Young has committed his long-term future to Old Trafford, having signed a new deal until at least June 2018 with an option to extend for a further year. "We are delighted that Ashley has signed a new contract. Ashley is a very multi-functional player. He took to the wing-back position with great confidence and flourished on the wing throughout last season. Ashley is always very professional and has a great presence in the dressing room," the manager said.