Football: Van Gaal to be United manager after World Cup; club deny Dutch report

Netherlands' coach Louis van Gaal waits for the start of a friendly football match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris on March 5, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Netherlands' coach Louis van Gaal waits for the start of a friendly football match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis near Paris on March 5, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - Louis van Gaal and Manchester United have agreed to the Dutch football coach taking over as the club's manager next season once he has completed the World Cup in Brazil with the Netherlands, the De Telegraaf newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Dutch daily said first talks between the parties began a fortnight ago, before the sacking of David Moyes, and that an agreement was reached on Friday night after talks with one of the Glazer brothers, club director Ed Woodward, and a club lawyer at van Gaal's holiday home in Portugal.

The America-based Glazer family own Manchester United and would give Van Gaal a budget of 100 million euros (S$174 million) to spend on new players, it said on its website (telegraaf.nl).

Dutch broadcaster NOS quoted national team media officer Kees Jansma as saying on its website (nos.nl): "He told me that nothing definite has happened but there has been discussions. He expects to be able to say something not later than next week."

Van Gaal has been the bookies' runaway favourite to take over after the sacking of Moyes this week.

Former manager Alex Ferguson has, however, backed, interim manager Ryan Giggs, whose first match in charge is against Norwich City on Saturday, as the club's full-time boss, British media reported.

United, who have put veteran player Giggs in charge until the end of the season, quickly denied the reports. "There is nothing to report. We have not signed a new manager. When we have something to report, we will announce it," a club spokesman said.

Any move for van Gaal would now appear to run against the wishes of Ferguson, a club director who is still hugely influential.

The Scot, whose retirement teed up the appointment of Moyes - decision he was a driving force behind - on Friday appeared to put his weight behind Giggs getting the job on a full-time basis.

"I think that he (Giggs) is the one man they should go to really," Ferguson said at a charity dinner, according to the Daily Telegraph. "He's got 20-odd years of experience at Manchester United. I signed him as a kid at 13 years of age. He's gone through the gamut of emotions at the club - he's experienced all the highs and lows."

The Dutchman would bring with him a long list of successes including several Dutch titles with top club Ajax and unfashionable AZ Alkmaar, a Bundesliga crown with Bayern Munich and Spanish championship with Barcelona.

Van Gaal - who has long said he wanted to move to British football after the World Cup - has in the past also been linked to a possible deal with Tottenham.