“I am always like that. When you see my history, that’s part of my philosophy,” the Dutchman said. “A player is not just a man who kicks the ball from A to B. His environment is influencing him.”
But Van Gaal was quick to reiterate that from a business point of view it is not a viable solution for Di Maria to depart after just one season, especially when the transfer cost almost £60 million.
“I shall always be open but I know the commercial interests of the club and we have to respect that. You cannot give a lot of money for a player and next season put him out of your selection.”
Di Maria has not started in either of Manchester United’s last two Premier League games against rival clubs for the top four, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. He was suspended for the Spurs clash but his side ran out 3-0 winners and that saw him start the game against Liverpool on the bench on Sunday.
But despite playing without Di Maria, United have won both games, playing some of their best football of the season.
The 27-year-old playmaker came on in the weekend win over Liverpool but again was in the spotlight for the wrong reason, catching the ball before it had gone out of play, epitomising his form and lack of confidence.
He did create Juan Mata’s spectacular goal with a lovely chipped pass but his creativity has not been exerted enough in his first Premier League season.
Di Maria has made 21 appearances, scoring just three times in the Premier League which is not the return many expected given the qualities he possesses.
Paris Saint-Germain could be a possible destination for Di Maria but any move will heavily depend on whether United can recoup a similar amount to what they paid for him less than a year ago.
Recent reports suggest that clubs would not be willing to pay more than £30 million for the United man after such a disappointing season and it would be bad business for the Red Devils to let him leave for half the price they signed him for.
His goals tally of 11 is the best in a single season by any Portland player since their competition in Major League Soccer began in 2011.
The previous best record was the 10 goals scored by Valeri himself in last year’s campaign (2013) – a number that striker Maximiliano Urruti also notched up this year, assisted by great service from his midfield compatriot.
He was joint second in the league assists table this year, with 14 set-ups (also a new club record) which is the same as Robbie Keane of LA Galaxy – only Landon Donovan made more (19).
The 28-year-old has been the first name on the team sheet for the last two seasons, with consistent performances of the highest standard and has only missed four games.
Diego Valeri in the last two seasons:
He is the driving force in the Timbers side and he could prove to be a great loss in the early stages of next season.