'I can fulfill the expectations'

Man United's new manager hopes to transform the club following a dismal last season for the former European champions.

    Louis van Gaal opted against taking a holiday following the 2014 World Cup [Getty]
    Louis van Gaal opted against taking a holiday following the 2014 World Cup [Getty]

    Manchester United's new manager Louis van Gaal believes he can meet expectations for success at "the biggest club in the world" but refused to indulge in forecasts when he was introduced to the media at Old Trafford.

    The Dutchman, smiling and looking relaxed after arriving from his stint as Netherlands manager at the World Cup, also made clear that the commercial demands at United would make his job harder.

    "I've now been here for two days." Van Gaal told reporters. "I've met a lot of people, and when you see that kind of people loving the club they expect a lot of me.

    "Can I fulfil that expectation? I think I can, but because of the greatness of this club it is much more difficult than in another club. This club is also guided in a commercial way and we have to fulfil that also, but it is not always possible to fulfil both.

    "I will do my utmost best. That's what I can give. I cannot give predictions."

    This club is also guided in a commercial way and we have to fulfil that also, but it is not always possible to fulfil both

    Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United manager

    The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach added: "I cannot give predictions because you never know."

    Moving forward

    The 62-year-old has been asked to make United a force again after last season's disappointing campaign under David Moyes. They finished seventh in the Premier League and failed to secure European football. But Van Gaal's early double reference to United's sponsorship imperatives is likely to intrigue and alarm supporters.

    The club is saddled with approximately $600m in long-term debt following the takeover by the Glazer family, and the inference to be drawn from Van Gaal's comments is that he fears the club's commercial pressures may compromise the footballing priorities.

    United, who this week announced a record kit deal with adidas worth $130 million a season for 10 years, have added England defender Luke Shaw and Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera to their squad this summer for a combined cost of $95.75m.

    Van Gaal said he had approved their signings from a list of transfer targets compiled by Moyes, but the Dutchman added that he would wait to assess the United squad before trying to buy more new players.

    His debut as United manager will be against Los Angeles Galaxy on July 23.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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