Memphis Depay and Louis van Gaal
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he was forced to sign Depay before the end of the season to keep out of the clutches of PSG. Getty

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that he was forced to sign PSV Eindhoven star Memphis Depay before the end of the Premier League season, as he was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain.

The Red Devils boss admitted that even though he likes to complete his transfer business early, he does not want to sign players before the end of the season, as it disturbs the concentration of the team.

"I was forced to handle [the situation] as a manager because, otherwise, he was going to PSG, that's why I had to sign him and we've done it within one day. But, for us, it's better to focus on the game against Palace," Van Gaal said, is quoted as saying by Goal.

"I want to do this [complete signings] early but it's not always possible," said Van Gaal.

"When there's a chance, to you have handle that and manage it directly and that was the case. I want to purchase players after our season and not during the season because it disturbs our concentration for the match."

United are currently in a battle with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City for a place in the top four and the manager is trying to keep the players' focus on the next game which is against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 9 May.

The 20-time English champions are coming on the back of a three-game losing streak and the manager will hope that they can get back to winning ways to put some distance between themselves and Liverpool, who are only four points behind in the fifth place.

Meanwhile, the Dutch manager went close to comparing Depay to Barcelona star Lionel Messi, as he believes like the Argentinean, the PSV player is a goal-scoring winger.

The 20-year-old, who was confirmed as a United player on Thursday, was impressive for the Eredivisie club this campaign, scoring 21 goals in the league and taking them to the title for the first time in six years.

"He's a goal-scoring winger and there aren't so many of them in the world," the Dutchman added.

"[Lionel] Messi is one of those but now I think we have to talk about the game against Crystal Palace and we have to focus on this and the coming three games. That's more important," Van Gaal concluded.