Louis van Gaal has risked angering Ashley Young after suggesting the Manchester United winger is not in the same class as Barcelona forward Neymar.
Van Gaal made the surprise comment during a question and answer session with several UK-based journalists in the United States on Sunday, following the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Barcelona in Santa Clara a day earlier.
The veteran Dutch coach confirmed he is looking to add a ‘Galactico’ to his squad this summer - and said that while Young enjoyed a great season last term, the 30-year-old is not at the same level as Neymar.
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“Barcelona has Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. We have to look also for that kind of player,” Van Gaal was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “We look for more creativity and when it is possible to buy for a reasonable price players from that level we shall do that.
“You can expect things from Ashley Young. He had a fantastic season. But he is not a Neymar and we have to compete with that kind of class.”
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Ashley Young waiting on new contract
While most - if not all - people would agree with Van Gaal’s assessment, the Dutch coach’s brutal honesty may come as a bitter blow to Young, who was arguably Manchester United’s best outfield performer last season.
The England international did everything Van Gaal asked of him, including playing in multiple positions, and managed to win back the trust and admiration of supporters - many of whom had lost faith in his ability.
Young is currently waiting on Manchester United to offer him a contract extension - but Van Gaal’s latest comments suggest there’s a chance the winger will not be handed a new deal.
“I’m at one of the biggest clubs in the world so I want to stay here as long as possible,” Young was quoted as saying by the Guardian last week. “That’s exactly what I want to do. I think a lot of people thought I had it done [a new deal] but I haven’t. It’s in the club’s hands now so I will have to see how it goes.”
Pedro is not in Neymar's class, either
With Angel di Maria set to leave Manchester United for Paris Saint-Germain, Young may have felt that his chances of earning a new contract would increase.
However, the Red Devils are still in the market for another attacking winger, and are expected to land Barcelona’s Pedro.
Pedro, though, is not in the same class as Neymar, who scored a magnificent 39 goals in 51 appearances last season.
So might Van Gaal’s latest comments make Pedro think twice before accepting Manchester United’s offer?
Manchester United fans: do you feel sorry for Ashley Young? Which world-class player should Louis van Gaal look to sign before the transfer window closes? Have your say in the comments section below!