Louis van Gaal wants his future resolved in the next week before beginning preparations for the World Cup and Manchester United is hoping to complete all the formalities in coming days. Ryan Giggs could be offered assistant’s post.
English daily The Guardian has reported that Louis van Gaal is hopeful that a deal to make him Manchester United manager will be sealed this week, with the Holland national coach keen to do so before starting his official World Cup preparations on 7 May.
While Van Gaal’s advisers deny terms have already been agreed with United, there is optimism that negotiations can be concluded and that an announcement can be made, even as soon as before the weekend.
Van Gaal has a World Cup training camp for the home-based Holland players that begins on 7 May so would hope to finalise his future before then.
Van Gaal would be a fit for the profile of manager that United are determined to hire following the dismissal of David Moyes. It is clear that the 62-year-old, who leaves his post as Dutch coach when their World Cup campaign ends this summer, is pushing hard and trying to force this issue, although United are publicly and privately adamant that a shortlist will be drawn up and ‘due diligence’ carried out on more than one candidate.
Van Gaal’s CV, personality, confidence and style of football tick all the boxes for United, as does his ready availability – a point which arguably gives him an edge over other leading candidates such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho. The Chelsea manager has strongly denied he would be interested but rumours persist that his name might just be in the reckoning if he shows signs of unrest at Stamford Bridge or, indeed, there is dissatisfaction from the club’s hierarchy.
United have strongly ruled out Giggs as a long-term option but that may be a case of watch this space.
Giggs, who is in charge until the close of the season as player-manager, admits his future at United is yet to be decided. “I think that’s another conversation as well,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m doing about playing, I don’t know what’s going to happen, so again it’s something that I’ll think about and decide with the appropriate people after the season.”
Meanwhile, United job has become a more attractive proposition than last summer, given the free run a new manager would have at it, the £200 million transfer budget and not being Ferguson’s immediate successor.
United are insisting on a minimum level of experience and a commitment to attacking football. That would fit Van Gaal.