Manchester United expect Louis van Gaal to win the Premier League title next season and have given their new manager a £150m transfer fund to rebuild the squad this summer.
Holland’s current head coach is to be unveiled at Old Trafford in July after he has taken his country to the World Cup and before United’s summer tour of the US, but on a dramatic day for the 20-times champions it also emerged that:
• Ryan Giggs is to be Van Gaal’s No2 but he has retired from playingafter a glittering career spanning 23 seasons
• Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt have been left in the dark about their futures on the backroom staff
• United began speaking to Van Gaal just 48 hours after David Moyes’ sacking in April
Van Gaal has been challenged to win United a 21st title in his first season with the vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, sanctioning a sizeable kitty to pursue targets that include Southampton’s Luke Shaw, Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and Toni Kroos, and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.
Following the dismal championship defence under Moyes that ended with United in seventh place, Van Gaal is confident he can again make the club serious challengers as the business end of next season is entered, with a Champions League berth the very least required. Van Gaal has previously won titles at Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich, having also won the European Cup with Ajax.
He said: “It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.”
Later he told the Dutch TV station RTL that one of the reasons he was chosen by United was for his record in working with young players but he added: “The aim is to bring them back to the No1 position as soon as possible, because that’s where they were under Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Woodward said: “In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today. He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story.
“His track-record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us. People know him as a larger-than-life character but I have also been extremely impressed by his intelligence, thoughtful approach to the role and his diligence.”
The executive co-chairman, Joel Glazer, said: “I am delighted that Louis will be our next manager. He has an outstanding pedigree as a coach, both as a man who motivates his teams to win trophies and as someone who believes in giving young players a chance to prove their worth.”
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