Van Gaal Set to Select Di Maria Despite Concerns Over Mindset

Published: 07th February 2015 08:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2015 08:29 AM   |  A+A-


Manchester United takes Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium for a New Year's Day game. AP

MANCHESTER: Louis van Gaal has admitted his concerns over Angel di Maria's frame of mind after the player and his family were the victims of an attempted robbery at their Cheshire home following Manchester United's victory against Leicester City last Saturday.

Di Maria is living in a hotel with his wife and child and being provided with round-the-clock security by United as a result of the incident.

Although the attempted robbery was aborted after a burglar alarm was triggered at Di Maria's home, the Argentine winger's wife, Jorgelina, is understood to be reluctant to return to the house.

Reports in Spain have also suggested that Di Maria has become unsettled by the robbery attempt, with Paris

St-Germain retaining an interest in the player, but Van Gaal believes that the 26-year-old's determination to play in Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay against Cambridge United underlined his determination to play on.

"Yes, you are right," the United manager said when asked whether he was concerned about Di Maria. "I believe in the 'total human being' principle. His environment is also important and he was worried about his wife and child.

"He wanted to play against Cambridge United and I played him. I am happy I let him play because he played very well.

"Of course, I have to decide on Sunday again, but when I have seen already his performance against Cambridge United, I don't think I have any doubt."

Van Gaal, who is expected to select Di Maria to face West Ham at Upton Park tomorrow (Sunday), confirmed that he would contest a Football Association charge for "alleging/implying bias by the match officials" during United's draw at Cambridge last month.

"I am not angry, I am very disappointed," Van Gaal said. "I never said anything wrong."

Van Gaal attended a memorial service at Old Trafford yesterday (Friday) to mark the 57th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, which took the lives of 23 people, including eight of United's Busby Babes.

"They have played a big part of the history of this club and I think we have to remember that always."

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