United mum over Van Gaal

Premier League

London - Dutchman Louis van Gaal remains favourite to become Manchester United's new manager but media reports that he would be confirmed on Thursday before the release of the club's financial results proved unfounded.

The former Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is preparing to lead Netherlands at next month's World Cup and United are anxious to name the successor to the sacked David Moyes before the tournament kicks off in Brazil.

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Media reports that Louis Van Gaal would be confirmed as Manchester Uniteds new manager before the release of the club's financial results proved unfounded. Photo by: Peter Dejong/AP

“Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season,” executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

Van Gaal, 62, has been the leading contender for the role since Moyes was fired in April, 10 months after replacing Alex Ferguson who retired after 26 glittering years at the helm of England's biggest club.

Reports on Thursday said United's longest-serving player Ryan Giggs, who managed the team for the final four games of the Premier League season, had held talks with Van Gaal about becoming his number two.

United finished the season in seventh place, meaning they will be without European football next season.

Should Van Gaal take charge he will have the task of rebuilding the squad and mounting a title challenge next season and would almost certainly have a large transfer kitty after United reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly profits. – Reuters

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