IBTimes UK

Manchester United defender Guillermo Varela had an interested from an unnamed Spanish club in January, according to Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal.

The Uruguayan right-back has seen his first team opportunities limited, especially after the arrival of Matteo Darmian at Old Trafford last summer. Varela was the third choice right-back behind Darmian and Antonio Valencia.

However, injuries to Italian international and the former Wigan Athletic star, along with the absence of Ashley Young forced the Dutchman to start Varela in the full-back position. He has impressed in that role and is now challenging Darmian for a place in United's starting lineup.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager admitted he urged United to reject an offer from Spanish outfit for Varela as he in his plans for the second half of the season.

"... in January that we took the risk for the left-back position that we didn't buy. We needed a left-back and we inquired about a lot of players. Some have said it now," Van Gaal said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"It is always the agent that is doing that because it is interesting Man United is inquiring, but we said, 'Okay, maybe Borthwick-Jackson and Varela can do the job'. There was Spanish interest in Varela and we said no because of that."

Van Gaal also admitted that providing opportunities to youngsters forced him and United to change their transfer policy in January. Several players have been given opportunities under the current manager as injuries and lack of depth has forced him to include young players in the first team squad.

"[The young players] want to prove and they want to show to the world, to the manager, to everybody, that they are the best, so they always give spirit to a team," United manager stressed.

"That is why we have decided not to invest in January and I have said that already two months ago, but you don't want to believe it. The policy is to have a small selection and then you can give youngsters a chance.

"Now I have read that Rashford is saving me. No, no, Rashford is thanks to my policy, and the club, of course, [and he] has proved that.

"He is there because of that and the same thing for [Cameron] Borthwick-Jackson, Varela and a lot of other players. But they have to prove it because it is very risky to do that. Youngsters are not consistent, we are talking about consistency."

IBTimes UK