Manchester United will confirm English soccer’s worst-kept secret next week when it appoints Louis van Gaal as its permanent manager.
Van Gaal reportedly has agreed to take charge at Old Trafford, and Manchester United is expected to make a formal announcement next week, sources told Sky Sports.
“He’s the man Manchester United want,” Sky Sports News reporter James Cooper said. “They have sounded out other candidates, but Louis van Gaal is going to be Manchester United’s next manager.”
Van Gaal currently works as head coach of the Netherlands’ national team. The 62-year-old will lead the Dutch at the 2014 FIFA World Cup before assuming the manager’s role at Manchester United following the tournament.
Van Gaal’s appointment will end weeks of speculation about Manchester United’s managerial situation that started when the Red Devils fired David Moyes on April 22 and replaced him with player-coach Ryan Giggs.
Van Gaal was rumored to have accepted the Manchester United job one week later, but the club denied hiring the Dutchman.
Van Gaal has a wealth of experience and a track record of winning major trophies at some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Van Gaal led Ajax to three Eredivisie (Dutch first division) titles, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Champions League crown from 1991 to 1997. He then steered Barcelona to two La Liga (Spanish first division) titles and one Copa del Rey (Spanish cup) from 1997 to 2000. He won another Eredivisie title with AZ Alkmaar in 2009 before taking over at Bayern Munich and leading the German giant to a Bundesliga (German first division) and DFB-Pokal (German Cup) double in 2010.
Manchester United will give van Gaal a hefty transfer budget — perhaps as high as £200 million ($339 million) — to help him rebuild the club. Manchester United also will expect Van Gaal to lift the club from this season’s seventh-place finish back into contention for the Premier League title.