Holland coach Louis van Gaal is now the clear frontrunner to take over as Manchester United manager because of the complications associated with trying to lure Ancelotti and Antonio Conte from their respective clubs.

British daily The Guardian has reported today that Ed Woodward, the United executive with responsibility for finding a permanent successor to David Moyes, is aware that arranging a deal for Ancelotti or other suitors will be difficult to the point of improbable and that makes Van Gaal the strong favourite to take over next season.

According to the recent reports, Van Gaal, who has been on holiday at his villa in Portugal’s Algarve “has been in talks with Ed Woodward” and has signed a “multi-year, multi-million contract”. Van Gaal has also been told he has a €100m transfer kitty to spend this summer to boost United’s ageing squad.

United’s information is that Van Gaal wants the job, with Patrick Kluivert as his assistant, although the downside of employing the Holland national team manager is that he will not be able to start until after the World Cupand that means Woodward is already pressing ahead with what promises to be an extensive summer of transfer business.

Momentum for Van Gaal to become United’s next permanent manager has been gathering pace this week following the dismissal of Moyes on Tuesday.

The 62 year-old whose stylish way of football and no-nonsense attitude has earned him the nickname the “Iron Tulip”, has emerged as the front-runner.

Guardian also reports that high-level sources have confirmed he has held detailed discussions about Edinson Cavani’s potential availability at Paris Saint-Germain, including at least one meeting in France, and it has also emerged that United’s interest in resurrecting a deal for Cesc Fábregas is harder than initially thought. Fábregas has been identified as the player United want the most, having missed out on him last summer when Barcelona turned down bids of £25m and £30m.

The shortlist of United, headed by Van Gaal, also features Antonio Conte of Juventus as well as Diego Simeone, the Atlético Madrid coach. Roberto Mancini is keen to return to English football after struggling to settle in Istanbul with Galatasaray and wants to be considered, despite having previously managed Manchester City.

The delay for the confirmation of Van Gaal’s name until a possible mid-July start is not regarded as a deal-breaker by the management and believe they are already in a strong position transfer-wise because of several months of work behind the scenes involving Woodward, Moyes and their network of agents and scouting staff. Cavani would cost up to £60m, breaking United’s transfer record, and it might need about £40m if they are to stand any chance of succeeding where they failed with Fábregas last summer.