Mata has started both of Man United’s Premier League games on the right wing. However, many feel that the Spaniard would be more effective in a more central role behind the striker.
The 27-year-old notched his first assist of the season against Aston Villa and Van Gaal was in a defensive mood when asked about Mata’s best position.
“Maybe you should ask the United board if you are the trainer coach of Manchester United?” he joked.
The Dutchman also cited the media’s handling of the David De Gea transfer saga as his reasoning behind not answering questions.
He added: “When I say something the media puts it into another context. I have seen that with my words on De Gea.”
Despite Van Gaal’s diversional conversation, many United fans do want to see Mata playing more centrally, with new signing Memphis Depay on the wing.
After Adnan Januzaj started in the number 10 role against Villa, it seems Van Gaal will be persisting with Mata on the right wing, a position from which he performed admirably last year.
With a crucial Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge on Tuesday, it will be interesting to see where the manager deploys the ex-Chelsea man.