Football: Van Gaal unfazed by Guardiola's ambition

Louis van Gaal (left) has claimed that Pep Guardiola's ambition to work in the Premier League will have no impact on his position as Manchester United manager.
Louis van Gaal (left) has claimed that Pep Guardiola's ambition to work in the Premier League will have no impact on his position as Manchester United manager. PHOTOS: AFP

LONDON • Louis van Gaal has claimed that Pep Guardiola's ambition to work in the Premier League next will have no impact on his position as Manchester United manager.

This week, the Spaniard confirmed that he will leave Bayern Munich in the close season to manage in England.

Guardiola is viewed as one of the world's finest football coaches. United, Manchester City and Chelsea would all consider him as a potential manager at some juncture.

Van Gaal has eased scrutiny on his job following last Saturday's 2-1 victory over Swansea City, a first win in nine games. The Dutchman shrugged off the idea that Guardiola's availability might affect him.

"I'm at the end of my career, so for me, it's not so interesting. For me, it's interesting how I take care of Manchester United and after this season, I still have one year to go," van Gaal said.

"He (Guardiola) wants to sniff the culture of England and I wanted that also. I think that it is very good he wants to do that. Every manager has that right to announce that. It's not for sure he will be the manager of a Premier League club next season."

Van Gaal's side play Sheffield United in an FA Cup third-round tie at home today with several players in the "red zone" .

A hectic holiday programme, including four games in 15 days, has taken its toll on United's squad and van Gaal fears that many of his over-stretched players risk injury or burnout.

Defender Phil Jones is ruled out through injury while winger Ashley Young might not be risked with United set to face a Premier League clash at Newcastle United three days after playing third-tier Sheffield United.

"Phil Jones is injured and a lot of players are in the red zone," van Gaal said yesterday.

"(Young) was back in training this week. He is overloaded and in the red zone.

"More players are in the red zone and we have to decide if they can play or not."

Midfielder Jesse Lingard is available, however, after recovering from a hamstring injury.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'Van Gaal unfazed by Guardiola's ambition'. Print Edition | Subscribe