No truth to Louis van Gaal reports, say Manchester United
Club refuse, however, to deny media claims they are in discussions with the Dutch coach known as the 'Iron Tulip' for his strict style
Agence France-Presse in London
Manchester United insisted they have not signed Louis van Gaal as their new manager - but stopped short of outright denying reports in the Netherlands that a three-year deal has been agreed with the Dutch coach.
De Telegraaf, believed to have close links with Van Gaal (pictured), said yesterday that "the national coach [Van Gaal] late last [Friday] night reached a deal with the top British club" to take over as manager after the World Cup.
"The man who's the absolute number one to replace axed coach David Moyes will immediately take up the job when the Dutch eleven is knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil," it said.
Van Gaal, 62, who has been on holiday at his villa in Portugal's Algarve "has been in talks with Ed Woodward, lawyer for club owners the Glazer brothers for a multiyear, multimillion contract", it said, without citing any sources.
But United, who have put veteran player Ryan Giggs in charge until the end of the season, said: "There is nothing to report. We have not signed a new manager. When we have something to report, we will announce it."
Any move for Van Gaal would now appear to run against the wishes of former manager Alex Ferguson, a club director who is still hugely influential.
The Scot - who teed up the appointment of Moyes when he retired and a decision he was a driving force behind - on Friday appeared to put his weight behind Giggs getting the job full-time.
"He [Giggs] is the one man they should go to really," Ferguson said at a charity dinner, according to
Daily Telegraph. "He's got 20-odd years of experience."
The Dutch report also said the deal would include a €100 million (HK$1 billion) fund in transfer fees to beef up United's fortunes.
Van Gaal has a stylish way of football and no-nonsense attitude that has earned him the nickname the "Iron Tulip".
In Premier league matches, Tottenham Hotspur are now just three points adrift in sixth after Danny Rose's bullet header gave them a 1-0 win at Stoke City.
Two stunning goals lit up the relegation battle as Swansea City's Jonjo Shelvey volleyed in from the centre circle in a 4-1 win over Aston Villa, while Fulham were pegged back to 2-2 by Hull City after Ashkan Dejagah scored a fantastic opener.
West Bromwich Albion took a huge step towards safety with a nervy 1-0 win over West Ham United thanks to Saido Berahino's 11th-minute goal.
Additional reporting by Associated Press