London: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that the fee paid for teenage French striker Anthony Martial was "a ridiculous amount of money".
Louis van Gaal. Pic/AFP
The 19-year-old, who only won his first cap for France after the deal went through, cost a staggering reported fee of Â£36 million ($55.1m, 49m euros) from Monaco just before the transfer window closed last week.
It is believed the fee could rise to Â£58 million, and van Gaal, speaking at an event in Manchester for executive United season-ticket holders, said: "It was a ridiculous amount of money, but it's the crazy world we are in."
The Dutchman added that the fee reflected a trend of United being routinely quoted "Â£10 million more" for players. In addition, he said that Martial had been signed for the club's "next manager", and suggested that would be his current assistant Ryan Giggs.
Van Gaal was quoted by The Times as saying: "I have not bought Martial for me - I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United." He added of Giggs, who was alongside him at the event: "I feel I am introducing the next manager of Manchester United."