David de Gea still ‘not in focus’ for United

David De Gea is not being considered for league games but played against Barcelona in pre'season. Picture: Brian Bahr/Getty

David De Gea is not being considered for league games but played against Barcelona in pre'season. Picture: Brian Bahr/Getty

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Louis van Gaal has confirmed David de Gea is still not mentally fit enough to play for Manchester United.

De Gea sat out United’s season opening win against Tottenham last week. Van Gaal felt he was not able to focus because of speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.

The Old Trafford manager has confirmed the goalkeeper will not feature in the club’s second game of the campaign against Aston Villa tonight.

“No, it’s the same situation,” said Van Gaal when asked if De Gea would be in the squad.

United are refusing to sell De Gea unless they get Sergio Ramos in return or Madrid break the world-record fee for a goalkeeper (£32.6 million).

Senior sources at Old Trafford insist they are happy for the 24-year-old to run down his contract, and Van Gaal is okay with the idea that the Spaniard will not play for him until the transfer window shuts.

“I have said that already,” Van Gaal said.

Sergio Romero deputised for De Gea in the 1-0 win over Spurs and the Argentina goalkeeper looks set to play at Villa Park.

“Normally, yes,” was the Dutchman’s terse reply when asked if Romero would keep his place.

Another person who looks set to stay at United is Adnan Januzaj.

The Belgian was linked with a move to Sunderland after being left out of the squad for the Spurs game. However, Van Gaal insisted: “He is still not for sale.”

Van Gaal has no new injury concerns ahead of the trip to the Midlands. Marouane Fellaini is suspended, Phil Jones is out with thrombosis and Marcos Rojo is still lacking match fitness.

Meanwhile Tim Sherwood has praised Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner for sanctioning his summer spending spree.

The owner was looking to leave after officially putting the club on the market last year but, after failing to sell, he gave Sherwood the green light to spend.

Barcelona’s Adama Traore is close to becoming Villa’s tenth signing of the summer. Rudy Gestede, Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Ayew and Jordan Amavi are among the summer arrivals as Sherwood rebuilds the squad following the exits of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph.

It is a change of direction by Lerner after he clamped down on spending under former boss Paul Lambert, and Sherwood is grateful.

“He doesn’t have to talk. He is showing it by his actions that he is willing to back this football club and take us in the correct direction,” said Sherwood.

“I think a football club is like a player, you’re always for sale depending on what someone wants to pay. If someone wants to pay a huge amount of money and Randy decides he wants to sell then it’s his decision.

“In the meantime, he is not sitting on his hands, he is actively trying to do something to improve this club.

“It’s good the club have backed me and it needed change. We have sold a lot of players and we brought in a lot of money. The owner has not put that back into his pocket, he has reinvested it into the squad.”

Villa will be without Carles Gil (ankle), Jack Grealish (hamstring) and Jores Okore (knee) tonight.

They beat Bournemouth 1-0 on the opening day, thanks to Gestede’s debut goal, and Sherwood believes they can topple Louis van Gaal’s side.

“It’s a transition period for them again, as it was last season. They have brought in a lot of new players,” he said. “I think every team has their own problems early in the season. It’s never fluid but we fancy ourselves against Manchester United. We fancy ourselves against any team.”

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