De Gea was set for a move to Real Madrid on the final day of the Spanish transfer window but the deal collapsed due to late paperwork.
Meanwhile, Valdes is training with Man United’s youngsters having fallen out with van Gaal.
Xavi insisted van Gaal’s character would have been a key factor in the situation with both players.
“With Victor I don’t know what happened. At the time, Van Gaal helped him to go to United, but something happened between them. They are two guys with very strong characters,” Xavi said.
“With De Gea I am sure that it was all done face to face, without any deception. Van Gaal is very direct and honest. I prefer people like that. A trustworthy guy, which does not mean to say he cannot make mistakes.”
De Gea has since signed a new contract at Old Trafford but Valdes’ future at United is no clearer. Van Gaal’s abrasive management style has undoubtedly caused some disharmony in the camp but it is clear that all the decisions he has been making have been for the good of the club. He now has to deliver in terms of results.