LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has no doubts that Angel Di Maria can continue to play for the club despite the Argentine’s fears for the safety of his family after an attempted break-in at his home.
British media reported that intruders smashed a patio door as they attempted to enter Di Maria’s home, with his family inside, last Saturday before fleeing from the property after triggering an alarm.
The winger, a British record signing from Real Madrid in a 59.1 million-pound ($90.1 million) deal in August, moved his family to a hotel in Manchester after the incident and his wife is reportedly reluctant to return to their home.
Dutchman Van Gaal admitted he was concerned about Di Maria’s state of mind and had been prepared to allow the Argentine time off before United’s 3-0 home win against Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday.
“I believe in the ‘total human being’ principle, so his environment is also important,” Van Gaal told reporters ahead of his third-placed side’s visit to West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday. “He was worried about his wife and child.
“I spoke with him and he wanted to play against Cambridge United and I played him. I have decided in the past that I will never play a player in those circumstances, because of the ‘total human being’ principle.
“But with him I had the feeling that I had to give him a chance to play and I was happy that I let him play. He played very well. And, of course, I have to decide Sunday again, but when you have seen his performance against Cambridge, I don’t think I have any doubt.”