Earlier on Sunday, Real manager Carlo Ancelotti said the Argentina international had not taken part in training but had "come to say goodbye", leading to fresh speculation that di Maria was on his way to United.

But van Gaal, speaking after his side's 1-1 Premier League draw at Sunderland, told Sky Sports: "I think always the club has to announce it.

"And when we think it's the right time to form a transfer then we will come to you and say we have bought that player or the other player.

"But at this time we can't say anything."

The Dutchman added: "Yes (I like Di Maria) but I like (Lionel) Messi also.

"There are a lot of players in this world that I like but they can't always come to Manchester United."