MANCHESTER -- Louis van Gaal refused to deny claims he has told Danny Welbeck he can leave Manchester United and admitted he has had a discussion with the England international about his future, but was adamant the contents of their conversation must remain private.
The United manager hinted he has informed some of his squad that they are surplus to requirements, but argued that anyone who claims Welbeck is among them does not know for certain.
The 23-year-old was a regular in Van Gaal's side in preseason but missed the beginning of the campaign with an injury, and has been linked with a move to Hull or Sunderland.
"I know what I have said to Danny and Danny knows exactly what I have said to Danny," the Dutchman said in a news conference on Friday. "The media is guessing. I don't speak about that because that is private and I assume that Danny Welbeck is not saying anything about our conversation. In that conversation was also Ryan Giggs and he doesn't say either and I think that is the way it should be."
Welbeck, who came through the United youth system, has scored 29 goals in 139 games for the club.
Van Gaal on Welbeck departure rumours: "I know what I said to Danny and Danny knows exactly what I said to him. That is private." #mufc- Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 22, 2014
Van Gaal has already allowed one attacker to leave Old Trafford, with Nani being loaned to Sporting Lisbon as part of the deal that brought Marcos Rojo to Old Trafford.
And the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager indicated that he has made his mind up about some of the players he inherited.
He explained: "We respect every player, you cannot say it is the error of the players that they are playing here in Manchester United. You have to give respect to the players. I have tried to do that. I have said everybody gets a fair chance.
"The first two weeks, then I have spoken to a lot of players. Now we are in the second two weeks and I have spoken to a lot of players. We are doing that in the right sequence. It is fair, it is right and with a lot of respect to the players themselves."
Marouane Fellaini -- who is wanted on loan by Napoli -- and Anderson are expected to be allowed to go, while doubt surrounds the futures of Shinji Kagawa and Wilfried Zaha.