Louis van Gaal appointed Manchester United manager
Louis van Gaal has been appointed Manchester United manager on a three-year deal, with Ryan Giggs – who has announced his retirement as a player – named as his assistant. The Dutchman, 62, will take over from duties after the World Cup, and becomes the first man outside of the British Isles to take over the Red Devils’ reins.
For weeks, the current Netherlands boss has been heavily linked to the post at Old Trafford and was the odds-on favourite to take over from David Moyes, who was dismissed in April with four Premier League matches remaining. He is priced at 11/10 to see out his initial contract, but odds-on at 4/6 to leave before it runs out.
Giggs (5/1 to be next United boss), who has been at Old Trafford for two decades, will provide the vital link between the playing staff and Van Gaal, who is also bringing in Marcel Bout as a scout, and Frans Hoek as goalkeeping coach. Jos van Dyke and Max Reekers could join as physiotherapist and team analyst respectively.
Although his immediate priority is ensuring the Netherlands have a successful World Cup, Van Gaal is looking forward to undertaking his new position: “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,” he said.
“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.”
Giggs, meanwhile, added: “I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager. Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters. Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I’m delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role.”
With the World Cup fast approaching, it was seen as crucial that the hierarchy at United resolved the situation before the tournament started, as a means to start identifying new potential signings. Van Gaal will undoubtedly have an idea of who he wants to bring in and has one of the best contact books in world football.
Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, who played under Van Gaal whilst at Bayern Munich, have been linked with moves to Old Trafford, while Luke Shaw and Jordy Clasie are also reported targets for the Red Devils. Compatriot Arjen Robben, meanwhile, is a 12/1 shout to join United in the next transfer window.
Dutchman Van Gaal, who has won titles in Germany with Bayern, the Netherlands with Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, and Spain in charge of Barcelona, is 6/1 with Coral to deliver the Premier League trophy in his first season in charge of the Red Devils, and odds-on at 4/6 to finish in the top four. he is also priced at 7/2 to win the Champions League – as he did with Ajax in 1995 – at any point with United during his spell.
Man Utd chief executive Ed 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.”
Van Gaal, meanwhile, will link up with his national captain Robin van Persie once more, and it is rumoured the striker could be appointed United skipper as well. The 30-year-old is priced at evens to take the arm band permanently.