Rene Meulensteen admits he was disappointed not to be offered a Manchester United return by new manager Louis van Gaal.
Having served Sir Alex Ferguson so well at Old Trafford, it was something of a surprise when he wasn’t retained by David Moyes last season. It has since transpired that the Dutchman was offered a role by the former Everton boss, but he felt the time was perhaps right to go his own way and try his hand as a manager in his own right instead.
Ill-fated spells at Anzhi Makhachkala and Fulham followed, the latter of which ended in February. There has been speculation that the 50-year-old could be heading back to United under compatriot van Gaal, who will officially replace the sacked Moyes after he has finished his current role as charge of the Holland national side after the World Cup.
However, Meulensteen has revealed that he has held discussions with van Gaal in recent weeks, but he has not been offered the chance of a coaching role at the Manchester club. And he admits this has come as something of a disappointment to him, although at the same time, he accepts the new man wants his own staff around him.
“I would have been keen to go back,” said Meulensteen. “I spent 12 years at what is a fantastic club and never left because I fell out with anyone there. But they’ve chosen to appoint Louis van Gaal and he has decided to bring in his own people. Have I spoken to Van Gaal? Yes, I know that is the case – it has been confirmed to me.
“It is disappointing. When you spend 12 years at a club the size of Manchester United, working in every department – not least for five years with the first team which were the most successful in the history of the club – of course you are disappointed. You would think it would make sense to have some continuity. But the people who have made the decision think their decision makes sense as well so we’ll see what the future brings.”
Van Gaal has made the universally popular decision to appoint Ryan Giggs as his assistant manager, with the Reds legend announcing his retirement as a player at the end of last season. Goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek will also arrive as part of the new backroom team, as will Marcel Bout, who is known as a specialist in scouting the opposition.