Article

Van Persie has no chance of playing, says Van Gaal

15 August 2014 16:36

Robin van Persie has "no chance" of featuring for Manchester United against Swansea City on Saturday, according to manager Louis van Gaal.

The striker returned to pre-season training late after reaching the World Cup semi-finals, under Van Gaal, with the Netherlands.

And, asked whether Van Persie might be fit enough to play on Saturday, Van Gaal said: "No chance. He has to train."

The comments echo the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach's statement from earlier this month, when he predicted Van Persie would not be ready.

"Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad," he said at the time. "But players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again,"

Van Gaal also expanded on his reasons for naming Wayne Rooney as United's new captain.

Asked why Rooney had been chosen, Van Gaal replied: "His attitude, of course. That is more on the pitch and on the training ground.

"Not so much outside the pitch but I have also explained to him that outside the pitch is also very important to me.

"He accepted the responsibility and I like him very much, how he trained and also how he performed in the [pre-season] games, how he performed to his fellow players."

Big-money signing Luke Shaw will also miss out on Saturday after picking up a hamstring injury, but Van Gaal is confident of filling the gap left by the teenager.

"We played in the USA [pre-season tour] with Reece James and Ashley Young in that position [left wing-back]," he reminded reporters. "I'm not worried."

Sam Johnstone, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck all join Shaw in being unavailable for the Premier League curtain-raiser through injury.

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