Change of Guard at Old Trafford: Louis Van Gaal the likely Replacement

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By Telema Davies

Barely 24 hours after the announcement of David Moyes’ sack as manager of Manchester United Football Club, his replacement is already being sought for. A number of names have been mooted to be installed as manager of the club come end of the season. In the interim, “Manchester United’s most decorated player, Ryan Giggs, will assume responsibility until a permanent appointment can be made,” a statement from the club said.

Three names mentioned in the media are Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp; Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola; and Dutch national team coach, Louis Van Gaal. The latter looks the more likely to take the rein at the Theatre of Dreams as both Klopp and Guardiola have ruled themselves out for consideration, understandably. With Van Gaal as favourite to take over, United will have to move quickly to secure his signature early before the start of next season.

Louis Van Gaal’s credentials are clear indications as to why he is a strong contender for this position. He won the 1994/1995 UEFA Champions League as coach of Ajax Amsterdam, won 2 La Liga titles with FC Barcelona, and reached the Champions League final as well as winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFB-Supercup with Bayern Munich. He is also used to working with big-name players and attracting big signings, neither of which were part of Moyes’ track record, a statement from fifa.com read.

The Dutch tactician had formerly sounded in 2013, his intent of quitting as national team coach of the Netherlands after the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – a position once held for two years (2000-2002). Interestingly, Van Gaal looked set to take charge at north London side, Tottenham Hotspurs as a first rate replacement since Andre Villa-Boas was relieved. Given recent developments in the English Premier League, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Louis Van Gaal opt for the most crowned team in England.

Jurgen Klopp in an interview with The Guardian expressed his disinterest in taking the job at the Red side of Manchester. “Man United is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans. But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable,” the 46-year-old gaffer is quoted as saying. Klopp, who agreed a new contract at the Bundesliga club until 2018 back in October, said last week that he was “still in love” with Dortmund.

Guardiola on his part, also rejected talks of switching managerial allegiance to any other club asides Bayern Munich, for now. The former Barcelona boss was initially indicated as a potential successor to Alex Ferguson before the Scot’s retirement last May. Pep Guardiola, who guided his side to a 4-2 aggregate success over man united in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals earlier this month, ruled himself out of any possible move.

“I’m with Bayern and I want to stay for two more years,” Guardiola said ahead of the Champions League semi-final encounter against Real Madrid. 

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