Van Gaal: I was forced to sign Depay

Memphis Depay would have signed for Paris Saint-Germain had Manchester United not stepped in, according to Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he was "forced" to sign Memphis Depay to prevent him from joining Paris Saint-Germain.

It was confirmed on Thursday that winger Depay would move to Old Trafford from PSV for an undisclosed fee, an announcement that ended 12 months of speculation linking the 21-year-old with a transfer to the Premier League.

However, Van Gaal insists that - in an ideal world - he would not have delved into the transfer market until the end of the season. 

"I have been forced to sign him," he said. "I don't want to sign before the end of the season because we have to focus on our games and, when you sign a player, you disturb the focus of your present group of players.

"And the coming matches are very important for Manchester United.

"Because of the market, I must handle because he would have signed for PSG. That's why I signed Memphis Depay."

And Van Gaal, who has previously managed Depay at international level with Netherlands, says his contacts came in handy when preventing a move to Ligue 1.

"At that time he was not reached by me because I don't want to speak with players before the season has been ended," he added. "I have also a feeling towards my players.

"But now, because of the close relationship I have with the management of PSV, I could handle it."