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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal confirmed that club captain Wayne Rooney would not return to action when the worldwide break comes around at the end of March.

With 14 minutes left to play in the game at Old Trafford, Van Gaal hurled himself to the turf in protest of a yellow card for midfielder Ander Herrera.

The more cosmopolitan the Premier League becomes, the greater any local hero is savored - and Manchester United's 18-year-old Mancunian striker has rewritten Old Trafford's mood music by scoring four times in his first two games. "I don't think so but for the referee, the linesman and the fourth official it is not so nice and that is why I apologize but not for being emotional".

Criticism of Van Gaal in recent months has centered around his conservative style of football and perceived under-achievement despite considerable investment in the transfer market.

However, it is hoped Rooney will not require an operation on the knee ligaments he damaged against Sunderland earlier this month.

Van Gaal is already suffering from the absence of at least 13 players.

"Everyone knew when they saw the team-sheet that we have a very young team". The big question: will it last when injuries abate and Van Gaal can turn to some familiar faces?

For the first time in months, the prospect of him sticking around for next season seemed possible.

United have been drawn against West Ham in the FA Cup and rivals Liverpool in the Europa League.


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