Manchester United full-back Guillermo Varela has revealed Louis van Gaal blocked his proposed move to Genoa in January.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Real Madrid Castilla in the Segunda Division B, having failed to make an appearance for the Red Devils in his first season in Manchester.

Varela has made his Man United debut since returning from his loan spell in Madrid, as a substitute in a goalless draw against West Ham, followed by his first start three days later against Wolfsburg in the Champions League. The Uruguayan defender has failed to make a senior appearance since.

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Having only made two appearances for the Red Devils since arriving at the club in 2013, Varela was heavily linked with a January exit to find first-team football. However, a move never materialised as Louis van Gaal managed to convince Varela game time would come.

In an interview with Sport 890 (via Sport Witness), Varela said: “I saw I wouldn’t play, I would have few chances. I spoke to the manager and he told me that no, I couldn’t go, because I was going to play”.

“Everything happened so quickly that you don’t believe that you’re playing in the most important league in the world. I take it calmly, training and looking forward.”