Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has refused to rule out the possibility of signing goalkeeper Victor Valdes. “I have always done that, and not only with big players but ones you’ve never heard of.” Valdes’ compatriot David de Gea has enjoyed an outstanding couple of seasons as United’s number one, but currently faces little competition for his first-team spot. Anders Lindegaard looked set to leave Old Trafford in the summer, but he stayed to compete with Sam Johnstone and Ben Amos to be De Gea’s backup. Press Association United announced on Thursday that Valdes, a six-time Primera Division winner, is being allowed to use the club’s training facilities as he bids to return from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that has kept him out since March. The 32-year-old, who is a free agent after leaving Barcelona this summer, will join in with first-team training once he has recovered from the injury. When asked whether he would consider signing the Spaniard if he returns to full fitness, Van Gaal gave a cryptic hint that it might be a possibility. “Manchester United has always their eyes open,” the United manager said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. Van Gaal handed Valdes his Barcelona debut in 2002 during his second spell in charge of the Catalan giants. The Spanish goalkeeper became Van Gaal’s first choice and remained so until the Dutchman decided to leave the Nou Camp in the summer. Valdes had been linked with a move to Liverpool, whose first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has come under fire for some sub-par performances this term. But Van Gaal, whose goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek also worked with Valdes at Barcelona, was happy to give the three-time Champions League winner the opportunity to recover from the injury at United’s state of the art training ground in Carrington. “For me it’s not a surprise (decision) because I have done it already with a lot of players,” he said. “I have a relationship with a lot of players. I gave Ronald de Boer or Edgar Davids rehabilitation possibility or training possibility when they needed that, so he is one of these players. “Robin van Persie also when he played for me in the Dutch squad last year, I allowed him to come to our medical department to get him fit for the World Championship (World Cup).
FRISCO, Texas – Lamar’s Jordan Rowe and Stephen F. Austin’s Kelsey Ramirez are the 2020 Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Student-Athletes of the Year, the league announced Thursday. Southland yearly awards are presented by GEICO.Rowe tied a bow on an impressive indoor season with a stellar outing at the 2020 Southland Indoor Track & Field Championships, where he scored 22 points by himself to become the men’s Most Valuable Performer. The senior was also named the Men’s Indoor Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Running Events Performer after a pair of gold medals in the mile (4:12.52) and 3,000m races (8:26.46). Rowe also pushed the Lamar distance medley relay team to a second-place finish. In addition to top marks on the track, he also maintains a 3.88 grade-point average as a kinesiology major.Ramirez rounded out her junior indoor season with two gold medals in the mile and 3,000-meter events at the 2020 Southland Indoor Championships. Her first-place performance in the mile marked a personal record, when she crossed the finish line with a 4:48.75 clip. Earlier in the season, the junior posted a school record in the 3,000-meter race capturing a 9:32.05 at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. Ramirez also maintains a 3.84 GPA as a kinesiology major.Student-Athlete of the Year is voted on by the Southland Conference awards committee, which consists of one administrator from each of the 13 member universities. Southland Student-Athlete of the Year nominees shall have earned at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and demonstrated athletics achievement for at least two years at the nominating institution.