London - Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal played down the club's interest in signing Pedro from Barcelona on Friday after the Spanish international decided to join Premier League champions Chelsea instead.
He also defended the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who was widely reported to have flown to Barcelona to tie up the deal.
Van Gaal chose to blame the media for exaggerating his interest in Pedro.
"When you ask me if Pedro is fitting in the profile, I cannot lie, then I said yes, but I don't say I am interested in the player, that's the difference," the Dutchman told a news conference.
"I think if we want Pedro it was not any problem because there was a (release) clause in his contract. It was the easiest transfer," he added.
"What is written in the newspapers is not true, you cannot know it. Only the players know it and the clubs know it.
"I have the idea you want to separate Ed Woodward from me. Never. Never. Every day I'm updated by him and I trust him."
The Dutchman would not comment on speculation linking United with Southampton's Senegal forward Sadio Mane, saying that with a squad of 28 players he was not under any pressure to make new signings.
Memphis Depay, recruited before the start of the season, was impressive as United beat Bruges 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying round match on Tuesday, giving them a third win out of three.
They host Newcastle United on Saturday, when Van Gaal said David de Gea would again not feature. The goalkeeper has not played this season after the manager said he was not focused because of transfer speculation linking him to Real Madrid in his native Spain.