- Premier League
Van Gaal will go straight into United job
Louis van Gaal is set for a whirlwind start to his Manchester United career after promising senior Old Trafford officials that he will go straight into his new job once the Netherlands' World Cup campaign is over.
Van Gaal's Dutch side are into the quarter-finals and next weekend face Costa Rica, who saw off Greece on penalties on Sunday. If they progress to the semi-finals, they will have to remain in Brazil for the tournament's duration with the third-place play-off and the final played the weekend of July 12 and 13.
But United are keen to unveil Van Gaal before United's pre-season tour to the United States which begins on July 17, according to the Daily Telegraph, meaning the 62-year-old could be in his new job fewer than 48 hours after ending his time with the Netherlands.
United in Carvalho talks
- Reports in Portugal claim Manchester United are locked in talks to bring Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho to Old Trafford.
- The 22-year-old was heavily linked with United before David Moyes' sacking and has a buy-out clause of £37.5 million and French side Monaco have opened the bidding at £27m.
- Chelsea, Real Madrid and Juventus are already interested, but United are confident due to their good relationship with Sporting, having bought Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani from the club in the past.
- United are likely to look at AC Milan's Nigel De Jong and Real's Sami Khedira if they are unsuccessful with Carvalho.
Van Gaal's first game in charge as David Moyes' replacement will be against Los Angeles Galaxy at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on July 23, before taking on Roma, Inter Milan and Roma in the International Champions Cup. United's fifth game of the tour will either be in Miami or Atlanta against yet-to-be announced opponents.
Van Gaal, who has been in regular contact with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward throughout the World Cup as the club sealed deals for Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, has told players who left the World Cup early, such as Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, that he expects them to fly to the US for the tour.
Meanwhile, in what will have been a promising sight for United fans, Van Gaal admitted he used the Netherlands' first official water break of the World Cup to alter his tactics and turn the round-of-16 tie against Mexico on its head.
Trailing to a Giovani Dos Santos goal just three minutes into the second half, Van Gaal used the stoppage to change his formation. The Netherlands scored in the 88th and 94th minute to progress and underline that Van Gaal has the flexibility as a manager some fans claim they needed last season.
"I first changed to a 4-3-3 and then we created a lot of opportunities with a shot on the post and a fantastic save from [Mexico goalkeeper] Guillermo Ochoa," Van Gaal said.
"Then I moved to plan B and yes, I did that in the cooling break. That is a clever way of benefiting from these breaks."
"Yes, it was an escape but in the second half we showed that we could create more opportunities and we played three different systems."
Van Gaal, who began the game with a 3-5-2 formation, added: "Did you see what I did? It's a big compliment that my players picked up on it immediately. We have a modest group of players but they have outstanding team spirit and this is ultimately what led to the victory."