Van Gaal: I declined offer from Valencia

MADRID • Veteran football manager Louis van Gaal has dismissed a report in the Dutch media that he has retired from coaching and said he will make a decision about his future after a sabbatical year.

Van Gaal, who has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United last May, told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser in the early hours of yesterday morning that he had rejected an offer to coach struggling Spanish club Valencia last month.

"I could return (to Spain). Valencia offered me the manager's job around a month ago, or five weeks. I said no," said the 65-year-old Dutchman.

During that period, Cesare Prandelli was still the coach of Valencia before he resigned after only 10 games on Dec 30. Salvador "Voro" Gonzalez is now in charge of the club until at least the end of the season.

Van Gaal appeared to have called an end to his career on Monday in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, saying that "events in his family" had caused him to turn down a lucrative offer from Asia worth £11 million (S$19.2 million) a season.

"I've not retired," van Gaal added.

"I'm on a sabbatical year and whether I continue or not will also depend on the offers I get. I've coached many clubs and I think it's very difficult to improve on that level of clubs.

"It's not true that I've retired, not at this moment, but I'll decide at the end of my sabbatical, next June or July."

He has not worked since leading United to victory over Crystal Palace in the English FA Cup final.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2017, with the headline 'Van Gaal: I declined offer from Valencia'. Print Edition | Subscribe