Louis van Gaal has issued a stirring riposte to Pep Guardiola after the Bayern Munich manager commented on Manchester United's inability to lure his players to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils were extremely active in the market this summer, with the likes of Angel di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao joining Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera at the club as part of an obvious attempt from Van Gaal to arrest the alarming slide that had taken hold since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
As well as securing the signing of those aforementioned six, Manchester United were linked with a host of other players before the transfer deadline passed - a group that included several Bayern Munich stars including the likes of Thomas Muller, Mario Mandzukic and Toni Kroos.
Ultimately, however, Van Gaal - who managed Bayern himself for two years between 2009-11 - did not manage to entice any of those players to the Premier League and Guardiola subsequently ruffled a few feathers earlier this month by suggesting that Manchester United simply did not have enough money to do such business.
Van Gaal hits back
"It is not so interesting what he (Guardiola) said," Van Gaal was quoted by Sky Sports in reply prior to Sunday's quite incredible encounter with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
"I think every player that I have contacted wants to play for Manchester United. It is unbelievable that despite not playing in the Champions League, the players are still coming and are willing to come.
"That is surprising - but it is because of the greatness of this club. They believe in the project we have started now, although I say it again, it needs time."
Signs that Manchester United will take time to revert to their former status as perennial title contenders were painfully evident this weekend.
Van Gaal's new-look side - which featured the formidable trio of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao in attack - were in irresistible form early on against Leicester and looked to be cruising with just 23 minutes to go as Ander Herrera's improvised flick gave them a comfortable 3-1 lead.
What happened next was truly astonishing and utterly indefensible, as Manchester United - who were reduced to 10 men after unconvincing young defender Tyler Blackett received his matching orders for a silly foul on the irrepressible Jamie Vardy - totally collapsed and ended up losing 5-3 thanks to goals from David Nugent, Esteban Cambiasso, Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa.
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