Revealed: United contacted van Gaal about job - in 2002!

Old Trafford 3

Manchester United have had previous interest in Dutch maestro Louis van Gaal.

Louis van Gaal's career path could have already taken him to Manchester United had it not been for a change of heart in Sir Alex Ferguson.

The revered Scotsman contemplated retirement over a decade ago and then chief executive at Old Trafford Peter Kenyon sought out suitable replacements.

Kenyon even contacted van Gaal, who was at that time in charge of Netherlands during an underwhelming time for the Oranje (they failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, the first time they missed the tournament finals in 16 years).

Commenting on the conversation he had, van Gaal is quoted to have said: "Before the World Cup of 2002… I was in contact with Manchester United through Peter Kenyon.

"It was said to me that Alex Ferguson was going to retire. The moment he'd go, I'd succeed him. But, in the end, Ferguson didn't want to quit.''

Van Gaal went on to have a short stint at Barcelona (his second spell in charge of Camp Nou), before winning the Eredivise with AZ, turning to Bayern Munich for two years before finally taking on the Netherlands job for a second time.

He is currently believed to be firmly placed on a shortlist of candidates to succeed axed United boss David Moyes.

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