Sitting alongside the trio was Van Gaal, who wasted no time in reminding his new players that much hard work lies ahead for them in the coming months.

Van Gaal will once again coach Germany captain Schweinsteiger, having previously linked up with him when in charge at Bayern Munich from 2009-11, and reiterated his confidence in the midfielder.

The decision may have been ruthless, but it was one Van Gaal made with something of a heavy heart. “Never is it secure in top sport, even my position is not secure as you know”.

Matteo Darmian has to fight with Antonio Valencia (at right-back).

He said: “It’s the best thing that happened to me”.

“He has a very good orientation and with that he can cooperate with our central defenders”, van Gaal said.

Now the team line-up has not yet been named but Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian have all been signed in time to be a part of the tour and they are fully expected to play a part. “I’m fully confident they can”.

In Schweinsteiger he appears to have ticked both of those boxes.

Three of the pictures referenced Under-21 matches he played for United against Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham last season, while the fourth was a photo of him alongside U21 team-mates in the dressing room. I want to win titles.

It’s a contrast to last summer, when four of United’s six summer signings – Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao – arrived after the start of the season.

Van Gaal added of De Gea: “When you ask me about the attitude of De Gea I think [the question is] stupid”.

“To get these players, it is not so easy”, he said. I am very pleased that Ed Woodward has done that.

“It became more difficult for them when Suarez left but what you will find is that he will have this kind of structure at City already”.

“We have great quality in the team but you can’t compete nowadays if you don’t improve every year”.

“Memphis is also here”.

Sent on by Van Gaal as a 120th-minute substitute in Holland’s 2014 World Cup quarter-final against Costa Rica and became an instant penalty shoot-out hero.