Manchester United: Louis van Gaal's Doubts Over Jose Mourinho Signing

Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho
Louis van Gaal, left, and Jose Mourinho in Munich, Germany, August 13, 2010. Van Gaal had reservations over Henrikh Mkhitaryan before Mourinho signed him at Manchester United. CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty

Former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal expressed doubts about Henrikh Mkhitaryan's ability to deal with the physical demands of English football before Jose Mourinho signed him.

Mkhitaryan was brought to Old Trafford in the summer—costing £26.3 million ($32 million) from Borussia Dortmund—as part of Mourinho's makeover of the United squad.

According to The Independent, the 27-year-old had been a player considered by the previous regime at United, managed by Dutchman Van Gaal.

His team of coaches are believed to have deemed the Armenian as lacking in physical presence, in order to cope with the increase from German to English football.

Mkhitaryan has only started for Mourinho once since arriving in the northwest, coming in the 2-1 home defeat to rival neighbors Manchester City.

Along with Jesse Lingard, Mkhitaryan was hauled off at half-time by Mourinho and has not featured again in the famous red jersey.

United faces City again on Wednesday, in the EFL Cup, which may see Mkhitaryan return to the squad.