A Bulgarian footballing legend and former Barcelona icon, Hristo Stoichkov has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, during a radio interview with Onda Cero show, Al Primer Toque.
Stoichkov enjoyed a trophy laden spell during the early 1990's as part of the Johan Cruyff 'Dream Team' at Barcelona. After a season in Italy with Parma, he returned to the Camp Nou when van Gaal was at the helm, but their working relationship was stormy at best.
When questioned about Pedro Rodriguez potentially moving to Manchester United, Stoichkov explained: "Whether it's for twenty, thirty or fifty million, Barcelona don't need to sell Pedro. They don't need the money."
"Pedro is a symbol of what Barcelona means. I hope they never sell him. Pedro is committed, he's a lad who has energy, a lad who fights for great things. So why do Barça need to sell him?"
"Just because someone like him (van Gaal) has asked? I would never, I repeat never, want to see Pedro under the orders of that guy, that Dutchman." Stoichkov added.
Continuing to offer his caustic view of van Gaal, Stoichkov insisted: "He's ruining all his footballers, because he's so mediocre. Look at all the players who are leaving because of him. He destroyed Barcelona and now he's destroying Manchester United."
Explaining those thoughts, Stoichkov recalled of his time with van Gaal: "He destroyed Barça during the era I was there. I returned there to enjoy my time much more and look what happened."
Of his work at Manchester United, the managerial capabilities were summed up by Stoichkov, as he used the narrow win against Tottenham as an example, underlining: "He's spent hundreds of millions and their first game of the season in the Premier League was a disaster. 1-0 with an own-goal and he's happy. Look at that!"
Returning to offer further thoughts about van Gaal wanting Pedro at Old Trafford, Stoichkov highlighted. "I never want Pedro to leave Barça, never. Because if he goes there, he'll be finished as a footballer. He won't be the same player again."
And further criticising the Manchester United boss, Stoichkov continued: "He's selling players who have been symbolic for the club. Van Persie was an emblematic world class player, he was a symbol for Arsenal, then winning games for Manchester United. He wouldn't give him a place in the team and now he's had to leave."
"Why did van Gaal want Victor Valdes? Why did he want him, then now he's left him out of the squad and doesn't even want him in the dressing room." Stoichkov underlined, regarding the current situation of the Spanish goalkeeper.
As such, and for how he feels the Red Devils manager deals treats his players, Stoichkov is of the view that van Gaal: "Is a really bad person, he doesn't have any sincerity at all."
Reiterating his desire to see Pedro turn down a possible move to Manchester United, Stoichkov concluded: "I really hope he rejects all of this and stays at Barça."