Louis van Gaal insists that Manchester United made the right decision to let Rio Ferdinand leave this summer.
The defender spent 12 illustrious years at Old Trafford after joining from Leeds in a then-record £30 million deal in 2002. However he walked away at the end of his contract in the summer and eventually joined Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer.
Ferdinand will face his former team-mates for the first time since he left Manchester United this weekend when QPR travel to Old Trafford.
Much has been made about Van Gaal's decision not to sign a direct replacement for Ferdinand, or Nemanja Vidic who also left in the summer, but the Dutchman is adamant that it was right to not offer the former England international a new contract.
When asked if it was right to let Ferdinand leave Manchester United, Van Gaal responded: “No. There is a time to stay and a time to go and Rio decided to go.
“He was a great player, maybe he is still a great player but there is always a time for a player to go from a club.”
Before the close of the summer window, Van Gaal admitted that shoring things up at the back was his primary responsibility.
However he failed in a bid to land Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal and instead opted to sign Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind from Sporting Lisbon and Ajax respectively. Both players are able to operate at centre-back but aren't specialists in the position, which could leave Manchester United exposed.
Things went from bad to worse at the back for Van Gaal today after it was confirmed that Phil Jones would be ruled out for a month after picking up an injury while on international duty with England.
Speaking to the media today, the Manchester United boss confirmed he would be without Jones for the foreseeable future.
"Phil has a torn hamstring," he said. "He is maybe out for three weeks or a month."
Manchester United take on QPR at Old Trafford at 4pm (BST) on Sunday.