London: Louis van Gaal has spoken of the prospect of succeeding David Moyes at Manchester United by declaring he is determined to take on the “fantastic challenge” of managing “the biggest club in the world”.
Van Gaal, the Netherlands coach who is expected to be announced as United’s manager next week, linked up with the Dutch domestic based players at a training camp in Hoenderloo on Wednesday.
The 62-year-old has finished in front of Carlo Ancelotti and Juergen Klopp as the preferred candidate of the United board and Van Gaal admitted that he was now waiting for the club to confirm his appointment.
“I would love the job,” Van Gaal said. “I hope that I shall be the one. It’s the biggest club in the world and it’s a fantastic challenge.
“You [the media] are thinking I’m the man, but the most important thing is whether Manchester United are thinking that.”
Van Gaal has also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and, despite saying he wants to manage United, claimed that he had other offers to consider. “There are more clubs interested. I have more options. It is a process we’re in and everybody has to wait patiently on my choice and that of the clubs.”
It is understood, however, that Van Gaal will finalise his United coaching staff and decide on the future of the club’s out-of-contract players before being publicly confirmed as the club’s new manager next week.
Despite the start of World Cup preparations with The Netherlands on Thursday, United and Van Gaal are keen to tie up all loose ends on and off the pitch before announcing his appointment.
With the Netherlands assistants Patrick Kluivert and Danny Blind not expected to be part of his staff at Old Trafford, negotiations are continuing over coaching appointments, with Ryan Giggs, the interim manager, likely to be offered a role.
Decisions must also be made over the futures of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, both of whom are out of contract next month, with Van Gaal understood to be involved in deciding about the two defenders.