Friday 20 April 2018

Manchester United won't go for Pep Guardiola as they commit to Van Gaal plan

Manchester United will stick with Louis van Gaal and not approach Pep Guardiola
Manchester United will stick with Louis van Gaal and not approach Pep Guardiola

Tim Rich

Manchester United are cool on the prospect of Pep Guardiola taking over at Old Trafford if he quits Bayern Munich this summer.

Senior officials at the club believe Guardiola will not be at the Allianz Arena next season but Louis van Gaal still has strong backing to see out the third season of his contract.

Unless circumstances radically change, the club would not welcome the disruption of a new manager in the summer  – even if it were the world’s most sought-after coach.

Van Gaal’s position will also not come under threat if they are knocked out of the Champions League at Wolfsburg on Tuesday.  Manchester United’s overwhelming priority this season is to win back the Premier League.

“The balance is 80-20 towards the Premier League because it is so difficult to win,” said one source. Van Gaal has expressed his doubts that United’s squad is strong enough to win the European Cup.

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And while Manchester United are aware of complaints of a lack of entertainment at Old Trafford – they were held to a goalless draw there by West Ham yesterday – they insist the majority of supporters are happy with the progress that has been made in the 17 months since Van Gaal replaced David Moyes.

Because Premier League clubs like Everton and Southampton are so well entrenched financially, United are pessimistic about any deals for John Stones or Sadio Mané being done in next month’s transfer window.

The policy of going for big marquee signings such as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will continue in the summer but nobody at Old Trafford can say with any confidence which names will be targeted or whether they would be successful in their pursuit.

Manchester United will, however, seek a left-back in January with Luke Shaw unlikely to recover from a broken leg before the end of the season.

(© Independent News Service)

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