Manchester United today confirmed the appointment of Louis van Gaal as the club’s next manager on a three-year contract with Ryan Giggs working as his No 2.
The club’s chief executive acknowledged when confirming the appointment of Van Gaal, who has taken no prisoners in his career, than United were recruiting a “larger than life character.” But he insisted that the 62-year-old had the intellect which was equal to the difficult task of taking the club on from the wreckage of the David Moyes era.
Woodward, who announced that Van Gaal’s compatriots Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout would join United as assistant coaches, 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.
“Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club’s history. 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. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Giggs hinted that he might be preparing to retire from playing as he said he was looking forward to continuing at the club in the asistant’s role. Giggs said: “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.”
Van Gaal will take up his post after the World Cup, though he will be involved in United’s transfer policy in the meantime, most immediately as the club forge ahead with a bid to buy Southampton’s Luke Shaw, with an initial £27m bid already rejected.
Joel Glazer, speaking for the Glazer family who were integral to the appointment of Van Gaal, 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. I am sure he will make a big impression on the club, the players and the fans.”
Hoek, the Netherlands’ goalkeeping coach, is know to United for his work developing the club’s former keeper Edwin van der Sar and he joins as goalkeeping coach.
Bout joins as Assistant Coach, specialising in opposition scouting having previously worked for Bayern Munich, Telstar, AZ, FC Volendam and Feyenoord.