Louis Van Gaal went some way to dispel doubts over his future by publicly admitting that he wants to manage Manchester United, describing the Reds as “the biggest club in the world”. The Dutchman is largely thought to be the overwhelming favourite in the race to succeed David Moyes at Old Trafford and could be announced next week.
Ryan Giggs is expected to remain at Old Trafford as Van Gaal’s assistant manager, after the Dutchman has reportedly expressed his interest in keeping Giggsy on his coaching staff. Even though the Holland manager hasn’t formally been appointed, yesterday he gave the biggest sign yet that he will in fact replace Moyes in the Old Trafford dugout after the World Cup.
“I would love the job,” Van Gaal said in an interview the BBC. “I hope that I shall be the one. It’s the biggest club in the world and it’s a fantastic challenge.
“You [reporters] are thinking I’m the man but the most important thing is whether Manchester United are thinking that,” Van Gaal said.
Van Gaal insisted that the rumours surrounding his future will not distract him from focusing on the World Cup. “I have to focus on my job,” he 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.”
The Dutch Football Association and Van Gaal were thought to have imposed May 7th as deadline for his appointment to be then able to focus exclusively on the World Cup, but United won’t announce their new manager until next week, a development which has surprised many but which isn’t likely to provide a new twist, with the Dutchman clearly the frontrunner for the United job.
Van Gaal might not able to start working at United until mid-July if Holland progress to reach the quarter-finals and semi-finals stage at the World Cup, but Michael Carrick insists that whoever will take over from caretaker manager Ryan Giggs will find a group of players desperate to win the title after this shambolic season.
“There is no way we are settling for top-four,” said Carrick. “That is not something we do here. I am not standing here and saying we are going to win the league next season but that is what our goal is and anything less is not worth thinking about. Certainly top four is not something that we will settle for.”
Asked how many signings United might need, Carrick replied: “Listen, this club moves forward all the time and we are always trying to bring players through, groom players and develop them. You could say this is the start of something else because there are going to be changes between now and next season.
“How much change, we will have to wait and see but it is about getting strong, improving and coming back next year to fight on all fronts again. That is certainly what the aim is and we shouldn’t be aiming for anything less.
“It is easy to say there will be wholesale changes because obviously we haven’t had a good season.
“If you look within the squad, there are some good players there. There probably needs to be some changes in some way because that is natural, with the situation we are in at the moment, but you can’t change too much because it is hard. Bringing players in is tough enough and we will just have to wait and see how it pans out.”