While effectively retired from club management, Louis van Gaal has admitted that he might be tempted back to the Premier League, though only to spite former employers Manchester United.
Two years into a three-year contract, the Dutchman was moved aside by United shortly after winning the FA Cup in 2016. It subsequently emerged that the board had been in clandestine negotiations with Jose Mourinho – the man who would eventually succeed him – behind his back.
So, while Van Gaal is not actively looking for a club gig, he has admitted that he could be tempted to return to England, but only to “get one over” on the United executives that conspired against him.
Speaking during a media engagement at the Excelsior Rotterdam-FC Groningen match on Sunday afternoon, the 66-year-old said:
I will probably not manage a club anymore. I would make one exception – if a big English club comes for me, then I would do it. Because then I can get the chance to get one over on Manchester United.
Van Gaal recently aimed one of his acerbic barbs at Mourinho recently, admonishing the current United side – without a trace of irony – for playing “far more boring football” than his did, adding that he’d much rather watch Man City.
I would rather watch City than United. You need quality in a squad and it’s clear City have a better squad.
If you ask me how did I do at United, I will say it was my best year ever, given the circumstances I was working under.
We played football that was quite all right. But it’s not football that is appreciated in England.
And yet, right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticised while it’s far more boring football.
Just a timely reminder that Van Gaal’s side were murderously dull to watch for the vast majority of his tenure, and scored just 49 goals over the entire 2015-16 campaign – the club’s lowest tally in over a quarter of a century.
Still, we kind of enjoy Van Gaal’s particular brand of steamrollering braggadocio.
Give him the director of football job at City and watch the sparks fly.