• Louis van Gaal admits Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick approached him earlier this season
  • United duo informed the Dutch boss that the Old Trafford dressing room was ‘flat’
  • Van Gaal has moved to dispel rumours of dressing room unrest  
  • Manchester United face Premier League clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday
  • Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea has agreed a new four-year deal with the club
  • The 24-year-old’s move to Real Madrid broke down on transfer deadline day last week

Chris Wheeler for MailOnline

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick intervened to warn him that Manchester United’s dressing-room has gone ‘flat’ and he faced player unrest.

Concerns have been raised over Van Gaal’s monotonous training techniques and repetitive team meetings which have drained the enjoyment out of the club’s Carrington training base. It has been mirrored on the pitch, with United lacking a spark and scoring just three goals in four Premier League games so far this season.

Asked about the reports of dissension in the ranks, Van Gaal insisted that he had a good relationship with his players but admitted that skipper Rooney and vice-captain Carrick had come to see him to raise their concerns. 

Juan Mata (left), Ander Herrera and David de Gea pose for a picture ahead of Manchester United training on Friday

Juan Mata (left), Ander Herrera and David de Gea pose for a picture ahead of Manchester United training on Friday

De Gea, seen here in action during United training on Friday, has signed a new four-year contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford

De Gea, seen here in action during United training on Friday, has signed a new four-year contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford

The 24-year-old had looked certain for a £29million move to Real Madrid before the deal fell through

The 24-year-old had looked certain for a £29million move to Real Madrid before the deal fell through

UNITED’S LEAGUE SEASON SO FAR

Tottenham (H) W 1-0 (1 shot on target)

Aston Villa (A) W 1-0 (2 shots on target)

Newcastle (H)  D  0-0 (8 shots on target)

Swansea (A)    L  1-2 (4 shots on target)

He said: ‘Rooney and Carrick, the captains, came to me and said, “the dressing room is flat – we want to say that to you to help you”. So I communicate not only with my captains who tried to warn me, I went to the dressing-room and tried to communicate with my players. We discussed a lot of aspects.

‘I think that I have a superb relationship with my players. Maybe you have to consider how many players are coming to the manager to say something. In my career as a manager I didn’t have so many players who are coming to say something about the atmosphere in the dressing-room, about the way we train or something like that. It’s very possible that players are coming to you, then you know they trust you.

‘It was the same last year. The consequence of our philosophy is that we have to refresh the group. Last year we sold and released 11 players. This year 14 players. We bought five or six last year and now six. The whole dressing-room has been changed, can you imagine when your friend must leave? What are your feelings then?

‘I can only say that I have a very good relationship with my players. It’s also a little bit logical now because there are only nine players left of the group, the other players I have bought and they won’t say that I’m a lousy manager.

‘The fans are shouting every week LOUIS VAN GAAL’S ARMY LOUIS VAN GAAL’S ARMY!! So the fans and players are very satisfied with me.’

United new boy Memphis Depay (left) laughs with Ashley Young as the pair train at Carrington on Friday 

United new boy Memphis Depay (left) laughs with Ashley Young as the pair train at Carrington on Friday 

The 21-year-old seems to have settled in quickly since his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven
The 21-year-old seems to have settled in quickly since his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven

The 21-year-old seems to have settled in quickly since his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven

There was better news for Van Gaal on Friday following confirmation that David de Gea had signed a new long-term deal at the club after his move to Real Madrid collapsed.

De Gea is now set to make his first appearance of the season against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday, although Van Gaal would not be drawn on whether the Spaniard will certainly replace Sergio Romero.

The United boss said: ‘Now his head is empty and he can focus and concentrate on the match. It’s a big change in the three or four weeks before that. I hope I can see that in the training sessions so I can give him his first line-up position. But you have to show it in training and the matches – the same counts for Romero and Sam Johnstone and I have to compare and make the decisions.’

Asked if he ever thought De Gea would stay, Van Gaal added: ‘Yes, of course. It is confirmation of what I was always saying to you. Transfers are a process. Everything can happen, especially at the end of the process.

‘Of course I could not give you that but I had to hope and til the end, in spite of what the media were writing that he was going to Real Madrid, I did not want to sell him. 

United's summer signing Morgan Schneiderlin takes a free-kick as he prepares for the clash against Liverpool

United’s summer signing Morgan Schneiderlin takes a free-kick as he prepares for the clash against Liverpool

German star Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a break by sitting on a water cooler in the Manchester sunshine
German star Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a break by sitting on a water cooler in the Manchester sunshine

German star Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a break by sitting on a water cooler in the Manchester sunshine

‘We did not sell him, he is here. If Real Madrid paid the price we wanted and put the papers in the right order and on time he would have been sold.

‘I am very happy that he stays because I believe he is one of best player of the world, my best player last year. It’s a happy end.

‘It is the world of football, a crazy world and I cannot change that crazy world.’

Van Gaal was asked about United’s shock £58m deal to sign Monaco’s teenage forward Anthony Martial on deadline day, and defended the transfer fee by claiming it would have cost even more to sign the 19-year-old Frenchman next year. 

Red Devils youngster Jesse Lingard (left) shares a joke alongside Dutch winger Depay 

Red Devils youngster Jesse Lingard (left) shares a joke alongside Dutch winger Depay 

United boss Louis van Gaal is known to be very inflexible with his approach, upsetting his senior stars

United boss Louis van Gaal is known to be very inflexible with his approach, upsetting his senior stars

Van Gaal's rigid training methods have come under question from his own players, it has emerged

Van Gaal’s rigid training methods have come under question from his own players, it has emerged

Van Gaal, who indicated that Martial will be integrated slowly into the first-team, said: ‘The crazy world of football is there is a market and market price and we cannot have any influence on that price.

‘I have said to Ed (Woodward) he is the best of his age and we need a striker in the future. We can wait a year and he is £10m more expensive and now we can build him up and he can enter in a game.

‘I can imagine that the fans think, “£50m so he has to score!” You have seen how Di Maria and Falcao have struggled, the pressure is much higher at Manchester United than another club. I don’t think we have to give him too much pressure. He has to adapt to our culture and philosophy. Maybe he can show signals of his quality in this season.’

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now