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Premier League

Louis van Gaal to Manchester United: Netherlands coach focusing on World Cup campaign despite admitting he'd 'love to manager United'

Van Gaal is finalising his plans for Brazil with a three-day training camp but could be appointed as United's permanent manager as early as next week

Manchester United apparent manager-in-waiting Louis van Gaal returned to the training field this week to finalise his preparations with the Netherlands national team as he looks to bow-out with World Cup glory.

Van Gaal could be appointed as United’s permanent manager before he flies out to Brazil, although the club have confirmed that no announcement will be made until at least next week. It is reported that Van Gaal, who has enjoyed spells with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, could be confirmed as the successor to David Moyes on Tuesday following the final round of Premier League action this weekend.

He was spotted taking training of the Netherlands side during a three-day pre-World Cup camp set-up to help the Dutchman finalise his 23-man squad, and he also confirmed that he would “love the job” should United decide he is the man to help them recover from what has been a dismal season by all accounts.

“I would love the job,” Van Gaal told the BBC at the start of the training camp in Hoenderloo. “I hope that I shall be the one. It's the biggest club in the world and it's a fantastic challenge.”

He added: “You [the media] are thinking I'm the man but the most important thing is whether Manchester United are thinking that.”


The delay to making an appointment is reminiscent of the naming of Moyes as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson last season. On that occasion, United missed out on a number of transfer targets due to Moyes not starting the job until July 1, and there are worries Van Gaal’s commitments with the Netherlands could replicate the situation.

United failed in pursuits for Thiago Alcantara, Ander Herrera and Cesc Fabregas – they may well return for the Barcelona midfielder in the summer – and any delay in confirming the new manager, be it Van Gaal, Giggs or any other of the front-runners for the job – could see their squad revamp severely affected by the World Cup. The club are reported to have between £150m-£200m ready to invest in the squad in an attempt the reverse the alarming decline seen at Old Trafford this season.

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But 62-year-old Van Gaal, insists he has a job to do in Brazil before he can turn his attentions to matters elsewhere – whether it’s the Premier League or not.

“I have to focus on my job,” Van Gaal said. “I am coach of the Dutch national team. I have waited a long time to be in a World Cup so that's very important. This doesn't affect me. I have always had offers. I know what the football world is and what it means.”

“There is no deal,” he added when speaking to Dutch media outlet Voetbal International. “There are newspapers saying that I've already signed, there are even names of assistants. Too bad it goes this way.

“There are several clubs interested in Louis van Gaal, we'll see what I choose to do and what choice that clubs are going to make. It's a process, so it goes with all clubs.”