Louis van Gaal would be a great choice to succeed David Moyes as Manchester United manager, according to Steve McClaren.
Having been appointed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement last summer, Moyes was sacked in April less than 12 months into his six-year contract after a frankly disastrous spell in charge. Not only have United ended the season without a trophy and without UEFA Champions League qualification, they are set to finish as low as seventh.
The former Everton boss was issued with his P45 after losing an 11th Premier League match of the season, ironically at Goodison Park, since when a number of coaches have been linked with the Reds job. The favourite for the position remains van Gaal, who will be a free agent when he stands down as Holland coach at the end of the World Cup Finals.
It is understood that United hope to reach an agreement with the 62-year-old in time for him to produce a list of transfer targets before he jets off to Brazil, to avoid a repeat of last summer when only Marouane Fellaini was signed. And if van Gaal is appointed ahead of next season, then he is already being backed to get the Manchester side back on track.
Current Derby County manager McClaren, who helped United win the treble in 1999 when he was Sir Alex’s assistant, knows the Dutchman from his own time coaching in Holland with Twente. And the 52-year-old believes the former Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach would be a great choice to succeed the hapless Moyes.
“Without a doubt he has what it takes,” he said. “He’s very forthright. He knows what he wants. He knows what he’s doing and he’s very disciplined. I’ve also heard that you either love him or you hate him – he’s one of those characters. He is successful, he gets teams winning and he’s experienced at that level. He can manage top players and win things at the top so he’s a perfect fit for any of the top five clubs in Europe.”
Other candidates for the job initially included Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti, both of whom are fairly certain to remain with Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively. Diego Simeone, the former Argentina international, could also be in demand, after leading Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final and head of La Liga table.
In the meantime, Ryan Giggs will continue to overlook first team affairs. The former Wales international, the most decorated player in the history of the club, got off to a fine start last weekend when United thrashed Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford, and he will hope to secure a second successive win when Sunderland visit on Saturday afternoon.