(Reuters) – Louis van Gaal wants to put Manchester United back top of the English game as soon as possible, he said yesterday after being confirmed as the Premier League club’s manager.
“My ambition is to have them back top where they were in the years of (Sir Alex) Ferguson,” he told reporters in Amsterdam as he flew out to Portugal with the Dutch national squad for training camp.
“I have always had a winning mentality and will find a system to make sure we are not beatable.
“They are hoping I can do it in my first season. I did it in Spain (with Barcelona) in my first season and I think I can do it in England too. I think it is a difficult task but a fantastic challenge. “At such a big club it is always going to be difficult but I’m very happy to have the chance. I said last October that I’d like to coach in England but I never thought it would be with the biggest club in the world.”
The 62-year-old Van Gaal said he was already in deep discussion over new signings for next season but refused to confirm he had been handed a considerable budget to strengthen the team after a disappointing season.
“I’ve haven’t talked to them (the club) about money, only over the players that I would like to have and those that may leave,” he said. Asked whether his first signing might be Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, who will miss the World Cup because of a knee injury, he added: “That’s for you to ask and me to know.”
Van Gaal hinted at his frustrations over recent weeks as mass media speculation about his move to Old Trafford had to be met with unconvincing denials.