Updates from Monday, May 19
Manchester United confirmed Louis van Gaal as their new manager on Monday, tweeting the following from their official account:
Peter Schmeichel has thrown his support behind Van Gaal. Schmeichel was quoted saying by the Mirror's Jack Lang during bwin's Play at Old Trafford event:
Van Gaal has coached at the very highest level for 20 years. He was at Barcelona, which was a madhouse at the time, and he's been to Bayern Munich and coached Holland. This is a hugely experienced guy.
He doesn't suffer fools easily. Now more than ever, you need someone with experience and a defined direction. I think he has that.
He's the kind of manager you need: a self-assured guy who the players look at and think: 'He's the boss, he's in charge, and if we want to be here we have to follow him.'
Updates from Friday, May 16
The delay to Louis van Gaal's appointment as Manchester United manager has sparked fears that the situation may yet turn sour with the Netherlands boss.
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail tweets the following about United's current backroom staff:
Neville, Scholes , Butt promised news on their futures yesterday but it didn't come. #mufc now in danger of this getting ugly.— Ian Ladyman (@Ian_Ladyman_DM) May 16, 2014
Updates from Thursday, May 15
Louis van Gaal will not be appointed Manchester United's new manager this week, according to emerging reports on Thursday.
Both the Times' James Ducker and the Telegraph's Mark Ogden report the following:
Van Gaal announcement won't be until early next week now. No issue, just few minor bits to resolve. See Times website #mufc— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) May 15, 2014
BBC Sport's David Ornstein claims Van Gaal has agreed a three-year deal with the club, set to be announced after the weekend:
Van Gaal had been expected to be named United's new boss on Thursday. He held a meeting with Ryan Giggs and United chief executive Ed Woodward on Wednesday, and the Mirror's David McDonnell had reported that the next 24 hours would see his appointment:
Van Gaal, who is set to be confirmed as United boss on Thursday, is understood to have offered Giggs a key role alongside him as part of his coaching staff.
Although Van Gaal will also bring with him other coaches when he takes over after this summer's World Cup, Giggs has been assured he will retain a prominent role with considerable input into the team.
Updates from Wednesday, May 14
Louis van Gaal remains on course to be named Manchester United boss this week, according to the Daily Mail's Ian Ladyman.
The Dutchman will hold a "secret meeting" with Ryan Giggs on Wednesday, before being announced ahead of the weekend. Ladyman writes:
The veteran Dutch coach will leave the Holland squad’s training base near Amsterdam and travel to a secret destination in Europe to meet with Giggs and United chief executive Ed Woodward.
Van Gaal will officially be unveiled as United’s new manager Thursday or Friday and the club will then reveal who will join the 62-year-old on the coaching staff.
Richard Jolly of ESPN is reporting that after those talks, Giggs was offered the role of assistant manager under van Gaal:
Ryan Giggs has been offered the job as Manchester United's assistant manager after having talks with Louis van Gaal on Wednesday, a source told ESPN.
The Holland manager is set to be announced as the successor to the sacked David Moyes and Giggs, who had been in interim charge for the final four games of the season, will be given the chance to be his right-hand man, the source said.
Updates from Sunday, May 11
Following Manchester United's season finale vs. Southampton, Ryan Giggs discussed the manager position at the club and his own future (via Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report):
No announcement confirming LVG at #MUFC imminent. We will see Q3 financial results at 1200; Ed Woodward will talk to at investors 1300— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) May 15, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, May 7
Louis van Gaal spoke about the negotiations, (per the Associated Press via Chron.com):
"There is no deal yet," Van Gaal told respected Dutch football magazine Voetbal International. "There are papers that write I have already signed, there are even assistants named. It's a pity it goes this way.
"There are more clubs interested in Louis van Gaal. We will see which choice I make and which choice the clubs make."
He will not be announced as the new manager of Manchester United until next week at the earliest, according to multiple reporters on Wednesday.
The Telegraph's Mark Ogden and BBC's Dan Roan both tweeted the news:
No LVG announcement this week. No dramas, just a case of getting season finished and out of the way.#mufc— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) May 7, 2014
The Mirror's David McDonnell reports that a deal is already in place, confirming the Dutchman's imminent arrival:
Van Gaal has agreed a two-year deal with United - with the option of a third season - but confirmation of his appointment will not be made until after Sunday's final game of the season at Southampton.
United chiefs are keen to get this season out of the way before formally announcing Holland boss Van Gaal, 62, as David Moyes' permanent successor.
When Van Gaal does arrive, he may find out he was the second choice of the Manchester United board room.
Van Gaal also spoke about the United opening (via Dan Roan of BBC Sport):
Louis van Gaal has told BBC Sport he wants to become the new manager of Manchester United.
"I would love the job," said the Netherlands boss, speaking at the start of a three-day Dutch World Cup training camp. "I hope that I shall be the one."
They report Ancelotti turned down an £18-MILLION-A-YEAR contract in favour of staying with Real Madrid - who could claim their 10th European Cup crown this season.
At the time he said: "I'm happy here at Real Madrid. I am lucky to be working at the best club in the world and my place is here [in Spain].
"I respect Man United a lot. I was disappointed for David Moyes, but my place at the moment is here."
Updates from Tuesday, May 6
Ryan Giggs is expected to be appointed Louis van Gaal's assistant manager if the Dutchman—as expected—is named Manchester United's new boss.
The Guardian's Jamie Jackson reports:
Doubt over whether Patrick Kluivert, one of Van Gaal's assistants as Holland manager, will join the 62-year-old at Old Trafford offers Giggs the opportunity to be, in effect, the No2 on the new management team. Although Kluivert has never had this role when working with Van Gaal – Danny Blind occupies it for the Netherlands – the former Barcelona striker was thought to be in the running to do so at United.
Yet Van Gaal has now decided he wants Giggs. While the Dutchman's appointment continues to be expected this week, the Welshman had been minded to turn down any role offered on Van Gaal's staff if it was a junior or token one. However Giggs appears likely to accept what will be a high-ranking position.
Updates from Sunday, May 4
Sky Sports' Staff provides a statement from former United coach Rene Meulensteen discussing Louis van Gaal's potential as United manager with Chris Kamara and Ben Shepherd on Goals on Sunday:
I can see why a club like United are looking at someone like Louis van Gaal because he's got an outstanding pedigree.
He's been in the game a long time and he's a very experienced manager. He's got a strong philosophy about how he wants to play; he showed that at Ajax, he showed that at Barcelona and he showed that with Bayern Munich.
There's no reason why it wouldn't work but the most important thing is that they need to get it right and make sure that the man who is going to come in respects the history and culture of the club.
BBC's Staff also provided a statement from interim manager Ryan Giggs' discussing his future in wake of the speculation that van Gaal could be appointed United's new manager in the near future:
He ruled out playing for another team but on managing someone else, he said: "You can never say yes or no.
"I'm still a young man in relative terms in management."
Amid speculation that Louis van Gaal is set to be installed as United manager, Giggs said he would consider playing for another season at the club if the new boss offered to extend his current contract, which expires at the end of June.
"It's my decision and whoever comes in, if they want me," he said.
Louis van Gaal is expected to become the next Manchester United manager, replacing the recently sacked David Moyes after completing his tenure as Netherlands boss at the upcoming World Cup.
Louis van Gaal is set to be confirmed as Manchester United boss next week – with Patrick Kluivert his No.2. The Holland coach will succeed David Moyes, who was axed 10 days ago by the Old Trafford giants, and is understood to have agreed a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
Van Gaal has just arrived at Dutch training in Hoenderloo but refuses to answer my questions about Utd. No announcement this week I'm told— Dan Roan (@danroan) May 7, 2014
A two-year contract would make complete sense for United, who will be anxious not to repeat the faux pas that saw Moyes sacked just 10 months into a six-year deal. Van Gaal can rebuild the squad over this time without the false pretence that he will replicate Sir Alex Ferguson levels of commitment to the club.
Pep Guardiola—who is heavily linked to the job by David Lynch of the Manchester Evening News—will see his contract with Bayern Munich expire in 2016, suggesting he could take over once Van Gaal has steadied a club that is currently in decline.
McDonnell's article suggests Patrick Kluivert will be the Dutchman's assistant, while Van Gaal will also bring goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, physio Jos van Dijk and video analyst Max Reckers with him. This leaves the future of current interim manager Ryan Giggs in doubt, something many United fans will be upset to see.
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail believes Van Gaal's appointment may be announced after Tuesday's last home match of the season against Hull. He suggests that, although Van Gaal "is someone who pays attention to club history," the Class of '92 coaches face an uncertain future:
[Nicky] Butt would be expected to move back to his role in charge of United’s Under 18s yet less certain is what lies in store for [Paul] Scholes, who is not on a contract, and [Phil] Neville, who was brought back to Old Trafford by Moyes last summer.
Jan Aage Fjortoft, a Germany-based pundit who used to ply his trade in England with clubs including Middlesbrough and Sheffield United, believes Van Gaal could introduce a Director of Football at the club, potentially opening a new role for one of United's old guard:
Is Louis van Gaal the right choice for Manchester United?
With van Gaal in it's a great opportunity for Man UTD to appoint a SportDirector. The Dutch is used to that. #MUFC— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) May 2, 2014
Ed Woodward should do the business of the club. But a strong manager absolutely needs a strong Head of Sport to relate to. Believe me— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) May 2, 2014
Giggs admitted his future remains unresolved during his pre-match press conference in the lead up to Saturday's game with Sunderland:
Ryan Giggs on his role as #mufc's interim manager: "Nothing has changed - it's until the end of the season. We'll chat when that's over."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 2, 2014
McDonnell indicates Van Gaal will be given up to £150 million to spend upon arrival. The 62-year-old boss will be expected to replace ageing defenders such as Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, improve the club's lightweight midfield, add world-class quality on the wings and perhaps even freshen up the attacking line. In short, he has an awful lot of work to do.
RG added at his press conference: "I've got a lot to think about, whether to carry on playing. But my concentration is just on now." #mufc— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 2, 2014
One of Moyes' great failures was his style of play while at United. The Scotsman acted cautiously and without ambition, often entering matches with the mindset that not losing is a positive result. As he quickly found out, this lack of optimism doesn't fill the crowd or board with hope for very long.
United need a return to their attacking roots, and indeed, the Champions League. Van Gaal's objective is unlikely to centre around winning the Premier League title in his first year, but rather, returning United to Europe's elite competition in a confident and assured manner.
The fast-developing situation around Van Gaal's potential appointment is sure to continue progressing over the next few days.
United are likely to focus on getting results against Sunderland and Hull before making the announcement ahead of the trip to face Southampton on the last day of the season, ensuring everybody knows where the club stands heading into the summer.