Louis van Gaal has admitted he is “very pleased” to see Pep Guardiola named as Manchester City’s manager from next season, and not because it ends speculation over the Spaniard replacing him at Manchester United.
Current City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed at his press conference on Monday that he had been informed last month that Guardiola would replace him at the end of the season, despite the Chilean having a year left to run on his contract.
Guardiola’s availability has been known for some time after he declared in December his intention to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season, with the former Barcelona manager deciding not to renew his contract.
The 45-year-old had been heavily linked with City given his ties with their technical director Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano, with the trio working together at Barcelona. However, there remained the possibility that United could try and hijack any deal should they decide to make do with Van Gaal’s services and replace the Dutchman.
That hasn’t been the case though, with United deciding not to launch any bid to replace Van Gaal, and the United manager admits he is looking forward to going up against the man who captained his Barcelona side when he managed at the Nou Camp.
"He is my former captain so I am very pleased to see him," Van Gaal said after Tuesday’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Stoke.
"And I can speak Spanish so it is convenient for him."
Turning his attentions to United’s impressive win over a Stoke side that beat them 2-0 on Boxing Day, Van Gaal praised every aspect of his side’s display and the manager enjoyed being applauded from the pitch at Old Trafford following the full-time whistle.
"The players have made a great performance," he said. "They performed well not only defensively but now also attackingly because we have created a lot of chances and we have made fantastic finishing of team goals.
"That is what I like to see. I am pleased. The finishing was also very good."
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