The Manchester Evening News claims Adnan Januzaj is facing an uphill battle in relation to his Manchester United future.
The Belgian star was thrust into the spotlight under old boss David Moyes, but has struggled to make an impressive under van Gaal, alongside some high profile names in Manchester United’s midfield.
Rather than retaining and sensing an opportunity to impress, the MEN claims Januzaj is staring down the barrel of a Manchester United exit.
“His future remains uncertain - particularly with United expected to spend heavily again next summer,” reports the paper.
“Van Gaal’s preference for a three-man defence also raises question marks over how Januzaj fits in.”
“Van Gaal has already shown that he is willing to let homegrown talent go after selling Danny Welbeck to Arsenal last summer.”
United would certainly be in a good position if they chose to sell him on in a permanent deal, because of a decision that was taken when he started to have an impact under Moyes.
United quickly secured his long term future on a five-year contract, which gives him value and allows United to get a good fee for him should van Gaal decide that he’s no longer part of his plans.
It’s all about balance and how patient Januzaj can be because there’s every indication that he’ll eventually get another chance because the current boss has shown himself to be willing in terms of trusting younger players.
However, Januzaj will want to be in the team and alongside the likes of Angel Di Maria, rather than warming the bench as an alternative.
Whether United would be willing to do a repeat of the deal that saw Welbeck go to Arsenal is doubtful because their situation could be different at the end of the season.
The pressure for United against their Premier League rivals could be much greater and as a result, the boss may not want to make any of his direct opponents stronger.