Valdes: I’ll always be grateful to Van Gaal

The Spaniard was unwilling criticise the man who exiled him from the Man United squad, but confessed he was in a hurry to leave the Red Devils and did not have many options
Victor Valdes might have left Manchester United under a cloud to join Standard on loan, but the Spain international goalkeeper insists that he will always be thankful to Louis van Gaal.

The Red Devils’ boss launched the career of the shot-stopper at Barcelona, and though he ultimately refused to give him a squad number at Old Trafford, the 34-year-old declined the opportunity to criticise the Dutchman.

“He discovered me when I was 20,” Valdes told the press. “After my injury he called me and asked me to join United. I must be grateful.”

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Nevertheless, the Spaniard admitted he was eager to leave Manchester, even on a temporary basis.

“When I had the chance to play for Standard, I did not hesitate,” he explained. “I had two options: remain at United without playing or come here and have fun again on the field. I had no other really serious proposals.

“I made the decision to come here in four days. I left Manchester quickly and I have not had the opportunity to talk about the city or the club with [Marouane] Fellaini.

“I wanted to be a footballer again. On a personal level, I want to play until I’m 40.

“Could I stay after my loan? I live day to day, and at the moment I’ve got two objectives, the league and the cup.”