Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has slammed Hristo Stoichkov after the Barcelona legend accused the Dutchman of “destroying” teams and urged Pedro not to agree to a move to Old Trafford.
Stoichkov played underneath Van Gaal at the Nou Camp and lashed out at his former boss, and the Bulgarian was not exactly full of praise for the current United mentor.
“Players suffer, because as a player he was so mediocre,” Stoichkov is quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.
“He destroys players because he was so mediocre. Look at the players who have left because of him. His first time at Barca he destroyed them, now he has invented another one to destroy and take years to rebuild.
“It turns out he needs €200m (£141m) to spend and the other day I saw his first Premier League game. It was a disaster. United won 1-0 with an own goal and he’s content. You have to have a short memory.
“I would never leave if I was Pedro, never, because if he goes there he’s just another player. I wish he would listen to me and say “I’m staying in Barcelona.”
Van Gaal took the time out to offer a reply to Stoichkov’s comments and believes the former Bulgaria star is still unhappy with him after he made the decision to sell the striker during his tenure at Barcelona.
“I always want to consider who is saying such things and I already know why,” Van Gaal said.
“It is not bothering me. As a manager, I have to decide a lot of things. He is one of the players I sent away and that is why he is doing that.
“They can comment but it is not always the truth what they have saying. That is always so in this world, especially in the football world. I’m used to that.
“When you hear that from Italy, (Luca) Toni says the same things. There are more players who are speaking highly about me than I have players that are saying the things that Toni or Stoitchkov are saying.”
Despite Stoichkov’s pleas, it seems Barcelona winger Pedro is likely to head to Old Trafford in a £22m deal.
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