Sun | Oct 22, 2017

De Gea pulled by Man United

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he will not play goalkeeper David De Gea in the opening English Premier League game against Tottenham today.

De Gea has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Van Gaal said yesterday, "It is not easy for De Gea to manage his situation now," and "he shall not play."

De Gea's absence means Sergio Romero, a preseason signing on a free transfer, could make his debut.

United may also be without defender Marcos Rojo and midfielder Bastain Schweinsteiger, another preseason signing from Bayern Munich.

Van Gaal says, "Rojo came (back) one week ago, Schweinsteiger came at the last moment. I don't think that he is fit enough."

Meanwhile, Manchester United's route back to the Champions League groups after a one-year absence must go through Club Bruges in the play-off round.

"It will be an interesting tie," United coach Louis van Gaal said after yesterday's draw. "Bruges are a good side. They reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League and finished second in the Belgian League last season."

In another play-off pairing, two-time finalists Valencia were paired with Monaco, who reached the quarter-finals last season.