Mourinho & Van Gaal not wanting to promote Man Utd's academy stars a 'myth', says Butt

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Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal were harshly criticised for their treatment of academy stars at Manchester United, according to Nicky Butt.

United have endured a lean transitional period since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013, with David Moyes the first to fail in the top job at Old Trafford after being appointed as the legendary manager's successor.

Van Gaal was drafted in to replace Moyes at Old Trafford in 2014, and quickly set about stamping his own mark on the squad with a string of high-profile signings.

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Angel Di Maria was the most costly new addition, at a then club-record fee of £60 million ($75m) from Real Madrid, with a further £76m ($94m) spent on Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo.

United ultimately decided to part ways with Van Gaal in 2016 after two mediocre seasons, and turned to three-time Premier League winner Mourinho to steady the ship.

The Portuguese also broke the club's transfer record to bring in Paul Pogba from Juventus, but endured the same struggles as his predecessors before being sacked in December 2018.

Van Gaal and Mourinho both came under scrutiny for their failure to promote younger players, but Butt - who now serves as United's head of first-team development - insists that neither man did anything to disrespect the club's core values.

"I think it's harsh on Van Gaal and Mourinho, and David Moyes to a point, because they didn't come into Man Utd and go this is it, move it all to one side, disrespect Man Utd and we'll do it this way," the ex-Red Devils midfielder told MUTV.

"They didn't. They never did - it's a myth that they did.

"Mourinho was brilliant with me. He spoke to me every single day at breakfast and asked about the kids. He did a few meetings with the kids when they were going to Portugal [in the UEFA Youth League] and telling them what to expect and so on."

Butt went on to admit that he prefers working under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but understands that Mourinho and Van Gaal did not have the same extensive knowledge of the club as the Norwegian head coach.

"If me, you and Ben [Thornley] and Maysie [David May] said 'Let's go and work at Real Madrid', you're not going to know anybody," he continued.

"There's that many people that stab you in the back in football as you all know. If you're going into an environment you don't know, you're not going to open the door to every Tom, Dick and Harry, because you don't know who these people are, you don't know where they're going. So you can understand both sides of the story.

"Obviously, I prefer the way it is now, I preferred the way it was when we were there [as players], but that's because we knew everybody.

"You trusted the canteen staff, you trusted the cleaning staff, because you knew them when you were 16, so we can look at it in a bubble and go 'all these managers come in here and it's shocking' but I don't think it is, because you've got to put yourself in their position, and if you went out to a club you didn't know, it'll be totally different."

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