London - New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hopes to create greater unity within the squad by ordering his players to eat together every day after training.
It is now compulsory for the United stars to dine with the club’s youth players and coaching staff at Carrington at 1pm. The stricter guidelines came into effect this week before Van Gaal’s much-anticipated arrival at the training ground on Wednesday morning.
The 62-year-old Dutchman spoke at the weekend about his plans to foster the kind of togetherness in the United squad that helped him take Holland to third place at the World Cup in Brazil.
‘I hope the group in Manchester will become like this one,’ he said.
There were concerns that cliques had developed last season in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and Van Gaal is determined that all his players are pulling in the same direction.
He knows that a better team spirit in the current squad will be crucial, even though United continue to be linked with a number of big-name signings.
One-time target Edinson Cavani is understood to have told his representatives to step up their efforts to secure him a move to the Premier League from Paris Saint-Germain. But United sources have played down speculation of a deal for Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal and indicated that the club would be unlikely to meet Juventus’s £34million valuation.
The United players had a double training session yesterday under assistant Ryan Giggs and Dutch coaches Albert Stuivenberg and Marcel Bout, with Nicky Butt also involved.
All loan deals for United players are on hold until Van Gaal assesses his squad. He will meet players and staff tomorrow and then be presented to the media on Thursday.
United leave for the United States the following day and the party will include 10 World Cup players. Robin van Persie has been given a three-week break after Holland’s run to the third-place play-off.