Football

Van Gaal: No rift with Mourinho

Louis van Gaal will not get drawn into any mind-games with Jose Mourinho this season and he says he still regards the Chelsea manager as his "friend".

Mourinho controversially claimed earlier this week that United were paying over the odds for Luke Shaw, a £27 million ($57m) signing from Southampton who reportedly now earns in the region of £100,000 a week.

Mourinho said had Chelsea paid that kind of money to the 19-year-old, it would have "killed" the London club.

United boss van Gaal hinted he would speak privately to Mourinho about the matter. Many saw that as a sign the two former colleagues were set for a rocky relationship this season.

Mourinho, who worked as van Gaal's assistant at Barcelona for three years, has a record of trying to wind up fellow managers.

But van Gaal is sure he will have a harmonious relationship with the Portuguese this term even though both he and his former protege are in charge of teams vying for the title.

"I don't think I will fall out with him. He is my friend," van Gaal said of Mourinho.

"I don't think (I will fall out with) all the other managers. I have full respect for all my colleagues.

"For me (mind games) are not so interesting. I have to manage my club.

"That is already difficult enough. I am not concerned with other clubs or other managers."

AURA LIKE SIR ALEX

Although he has only been in position for a couple of weeks, the Dutch manager has been compared to Sir Alex Ferguson, who was the master when it came to manager mind games.

Ryan Giggs said the new United boss had an "aura" about him - just like Ferguson.

Being compared to a man who won 13 Premier League titles with United has gone down well with the new man at the helm.

"I highly respect Sir Alex because I don't think there is another manager who has won so many titles," he said.

"I (have) won a lot of titles, but he did it in one club and that is fantastic and, when you compare Sir Alex with me, I am very proud."

Van Gaal, of course, is the second man to have a go at trying to fill Ferguson's shoes and succeeding David Moyes would appear to be a much easier task than directly following Ferguson, but van Gaal disagrees.

In his eyes, Ferguson left Moyes with a team of winners. He says he is inheriting a "broken" squad.

"No, I don't agree. When there is success you have a very good squad but, now, I take over a squad which was broken I think." - PA Sport.