Louis van Gaal has admitted he is sad to see Angel Di Maria and Rafael leave Manchester United.
The pair departed the club for Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais respectively last week, with both players being deemed surplus to requirements by the Dutchman.
Di Maria scored three goals and had 11 assists during his only season at Man United, while Rafael amassed over 160 appearances and scored five goals during his eight-year career with the club.
Despite their departures, Van Gaal has admitted his sadness at seeing the pair depart Old Trafford.
He said: “It’s always very sad that these things happen. Rafa has already played for more than eight years here so it’s difficult for him but I wish him all the best at Olympique Lyonnais and, of course, Angel Di Maria [too] because he tried everything to do his best. But you cannot do more than that and, when it is not working like we all want, then it is difficult.
“I’m always disappointed when players are not performing what we want together. A player is also a human being and he has to feel comfortable and comfortable with the new management, so you never know what the reason is [when a player leaves].”
Despite the departure of Di Maria significantly reducing United attacking options, it is Rafael’s departure that caused the most upset at the club.
When fit, the right-backs tenacity and determination where the sort of assets that made him a fantastic player for the club, and crucial in Ferguson’s last campaign with United. Supporters were also surprised to see Rafael leave ahead of Antonio Valencia, whom many feel lacks the necessary skills to play as a full-back.
However, with Rafael’s position seemingly covered by the impressive Darmian, Van Gaal’s attention must turn to replacing Di Maria, with the United boss making it very clear of his desires to recruit a pacey ‘game changer’ if United are to compete for the title.
With the No.9 shirt being left vacant at the club, rumours are pouring in as to who could fill it, with FC Barcelona’s Pedro apparently the favourite.