Van Gaal: Manchester United summer spending spree to mimic Chelsea, City
Louis van Gaal is planning a summer spending spree that will enable him to emulate Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson and become a Premier League title winner.
The Dutchman inherited a Manchester United team that finished seventh last season and has taken them up to third, which he believes is proof his methods are working.
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But Van Gaal, who spent £152 million to bring in six players last summer, wants to take United to the next level as he looks to combine coaching skill with expertise in the transfer market.
United are expected to pursue players such as Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne and PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay, while they have also been linked with Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, Juventus' Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne.
"I believe in managers and teams who believe in each other and who are making a team out of it," Van Gaal said in a news conference Friday. "That is what we call a process and when it's good and every year you improve your selection.
"So I also want to improve my selection for the next season. Then we can make a bigger step than only the process. It helps you in the process to be number one at the end," he said.
Mourinho, who was Van Gaal's assistant at Barcelona, took Chelsea to third place last year and after signing players such as Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, now presides over the league leaders. Manchester City have also spent heavily to become champions.
"Manchester City has done that also," Van Gaal noted. "We are trying to do that now. Sir Alex Ferguson has done it before. Jose Mourinho is doing it now -- but then last season he doesn't win anything, Mr. Mourinho. Now he is winning the title. Now I try to do that also."
Van Gaal's side are on a run of five straight Premier League wins while captain Wayne Rooney, who spent a spell in midfield earlier in the season, has returned to the forward line.
But while Rooney has scored six goals in his last eight games, Van Gaal said he will continue to consider using the Englishman in a deeper role.
"For us Wayne is very important as a player as a captain and he can make goals," he explained. "But he can also make goals as a midfielder.
"The last goal he makes it as a midfielder. I have to use Wayne Rooney for the team and every individual player I have to use him when it makes the team stronger.
"At this moment I think it's more in a striker's position but in the second half against Aston Villa I was already after a quarter very convinced I have to change our lineup so it's dependable on a lot of factors."
United enter Sunday's Manchester derby with Van Gaal warning they have to keep 11 men on the pitch after Chris Smalling was sent off in November's 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium for two bookable offences.
Van Gaal believes they have the worst disciplinary record of any of his teams, but thinks United have been naïve and unlucky this season.
"Keeping control of your emotions is always a talent of a professional football player," he said. "You need a lot of talents to be a professional football player. When you have a yellow card you know you cannot make a second foul which gives the second yellow card [as Smalling did]. You have to know that.
"But also that problem is a learning process. Luke Shaw also had the second yellow [against West Ham], Wayne had a red card as a captain [also against West Ham] so I think he did a functional foul, but he did it a little too explosive. I said that also after the match then.
"But I am always warning especially in these types of games that we have to control our emotion so I hope after all the red cards we have had, I think it's a record in my career so many red cards.
"Because [Jonny] Evans also a red card [actually a retrospective ban] -- but I don't believe he deserved it ... he didn't deserve it because when he spit, it was natural for him. That I want to say again. And he had six matches which is a lot, I think. So we have already five red cards. It's a record in my career as a manager and that's not good."