Manchester United £24m-valued target chose Garcia over Van Gaal

Miralem Pjanic

Miralem Pjanic has revealed that it was his close relationship with AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia that convinced him to sign a new contract at the club.

The opportunity to continue working alongside AS Roma coach Rudi Garcia was the driving factor behind Miralem Pjanic signing a new contract with the Serie A side, it has been revealed.

Prior to agreeing the new deal, the Bosnian had been linked with a big money switch to Manchester United, where he would have worked under Holland World Cup coach Louis van Gaal.

But after a season in which the midfielder thrived under Garcia, with Roma enjoying a record-breaking winning run in the league, the player opted to remain at the club and continue working under the tutelage of the former Lille boss.

“I'm staying at Roma to win the title and for Garcia,” he told Gazetta dello Sport this week.

“I have received a lot of offers, this summer too, but I decided to stay at Roma because I want to win the Scudetto and also because there's a coach like Garcia. I have an excellent relationship with him and we both look at football the same way.”

Louis van Gaal has over the years garnered a reputation as a fierce tactician and coach who emphasises the importance of collective teamwork over individual brilliance.

During his time at Barcelona the Dutchman famously clashed with star player Rivaldo, who was keen to play in a central role but was played out wide on the left by the ex-Ajax manager.

After failing to adhere to the on-field instructions of Van Gaal, Rivaldo was promptly dropped in favour of a player more willing to adapt to the system and requirements of the two-time Holland national team boss.

Pjanic thrived under Garcia last term, with the French coach allowing the likes of the Bosnian as well as Arsenal reject Gervinho, to be expressive in their attacking player.

The opportunity to continue playing and expressing himself in such a way on the pitch, coupled with AS Roma’s realistic hopes of a Serie A title and the promise of Champions League football at the club, could have all ultimately been the driving factors behind his decision to remain in Italy.

Check out this standout Pjanic goal from a recent friendly between AS Roma and Manchester United – how would Van Gaal have reacted to a Reds player trying this?

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch