Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal confirms Premier League ambition
Louis van Gaal has made it plain he wants to manage in the Premier League when his contract as Netherlands national boss ends following the conclusion of the World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 62-year-old has strongly been linked with replacing Tim Sherwood as Tottenham’s head coach, but is also 6/1 joint-favourite with Coral (alongside Old Trafford icon Sir Alex Ferguson) to take over from David Moyes at Manchester United.
“My ambition is to coach a top team in the Premier League,” Van Gaal told the German press. “I want to win the league title in a fourth country. That’s my objective and I want to fulfil it. Either that, or I will retire and move with my wife to Portugal.”
Incidentally, Porto are looking for a new boss and coaching them to title glory next season would allow Van Gaal to realise his ambition, albeit in a different – and less competitive – league and another country.
As come-and-get-me pleas go for rumoured suitors Spurs and United, this is as subtle as a car crash. Van Gaal has enjoyed great success in club management, however, so he would come to ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ or White Hart Lane with plenty of pedigree.
Spells with Ajax, AZ Alkmaar, Barcelona and Bayern Munich have yielded a dozen major honours – including domestic cups in three countries, the Bundesliga, Eredivisie, La Liga, UEFA Cup and Champions League crowns – for the Dutch manager.
Van Gaal has thus won European competitions that Tottenham and the Red Devils are hoping to stay in respectively. Moyes’ men are 2-0 down going into their Champions League last 16 second leg against Greek champions Olympiakos. United are 15/8 to turn the tie around and qualify for the quarter-finals.
Sherwood’s Spurs are 3-1 in the Europa League going into a trip to 9/2 tournament second-favourites Benfica. Tottenham are 4/1 outsiders for victory in the Estadio da Luz and 10/1 shots to advance to the next round.
If north London outfit Spurs fail to secure Champions League football for next season (they are 10/1 for a top-four finish), there is widespread speculation that Sherwood will be sacked.
Former Tottenham playing favourite Sherwood has his work cut out for him to achieve this brief as they trail Manchester City, who have three games in hand on his side, by seven points.
Moyes, meanwhile, may have just three matches – culminating in a Manchester derby – to prove he is the right man for the Red Devils dugout, if you believe tabloid rumour mills.
Handpicked by Ferguson to succeed him in the Old Trafford hotseat, fellow Scotsman Moyes is odds-on with Coral at 4/6 to no longer be in charge of United come the start of next season. One way or another, then, Van Gaal’s future job prospects look pretty rosy.
Drawn with World Cup holders Spain, Chile and Australia, the Netherlands are 9/4 second-favourites to win Group B, and are odds-on to qualify for the knockout phase at 1/2. Back Van Gaal to steer the Clockwork Orange to glory (going one better than predecessor Bert van Marwijk) and lift the trophy at 28/1.