Man Utd: Louis van Gaal confirms he wants to buy a midfield player

New midfielder is Van Gaal's priority

Manchester United are in the market for a new midfielder this summer, says manager Louis van Gaal.

The Old Trafford boss has been criticised for playing striker Wayne Rooney in a deeper position and when asked if his priority was to sign a new midfielder he said: "Of course."

Van Gaal was speaking ahead of Monday's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Preston North End at Deepdale (19:45 GMT).

"I am looking for balance and I need balance in midfield," he added.

"When I play with [Adnan] Januzaj and [Angel] Di Maria in the midfield positions, then you need a certain balance for that kind of creative player.

"So, when you have these creative players, and also [Radamel] Falcao and [Robin] van Persie are creative players, then you have four creative players and you have to look for balance in your team."

Van Gaal says Rooney, 29, who has not scored in nine games, has no problem with playing in midfield but admits his captain will be well aware of public opinion on his role.

"He is happy," said Van Gaal. "Otherwise, he should come to me and say: 'I am not happy', but he never does.

All-time Premier League top scorers
Alan Shearer (Blackburn, Newcastle)260
Andy Cole (Newcastle, Man Utd, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City, Portsmouth)187
Wayne Rooney (Everton, Man Utd)181
Frank Lampard (West Ham, Chelsea, Man City)176
Thierry Henry (Arsenal)175

"He is always friendly to me and wants to perform what I want.

"That is what I see, but, when the whole world is writing that he has to be in the striker's position, he shall be thinking ' hey' as he is human."

Rooney began the season up front and had scored eight goals in 14 games, moving to third in United's list of all-time scorers, before being switched to midfield.

His last goals came in United's 3-1 win over Newcastle on Boxing Day, when he played as a striker.

Rooney's longest run without a goal for the club came between December 2005 and February '06 when he went 12 games without scoring.

Monday's game at Preston is live on BBC One, the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live.