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Louis van Gaal's message for Erik ten Hag after Manchester United talks

“I’m not going to advise him, he’ll call me himself. But he must choose a football club and not a commercial club.”

Louis Van Gaal (pictured) has advised compatriot Erik Ten Hag not to move to Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)


Holland coach Louis Van Gaal has urged prospective Manchester United managerial candidate Erik Ten Hag to “choose a football club not a commercial club”.

Van Gaal, who won the FA Cup during his spell in charge at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016, suggested the current Ajax boss should consider his options carefully after becoming one of the leading candidates to replace the interim Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

“Erik Ten Hag is a great coach and that is always good for Manchester United,” Van Gaal told a press conference ahead of Holland’s friendly against Germany.

“But Manchester United are a commercial club, so it’s a difficult choice for a coach. He’d better go to a football club.

“I’m not going to advise him, he’ll call me himself. But he must choose a football club and not a commercial club.”

Rangnick was handed the reins on a temporary basis in November following the sacking of 1999 treble hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after nearly three years in charge.

United want to appoint his permanent successor before the summer and plan to speak to a number of candidates, with Ten Hag understood to have met with the Premier League club as part of that process last week.

Former Tottenham and current Paris St Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino, Spain boss Luis Enrique and Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui have also been linked with the vacant post.

Van Gaal made similar comments during an interview with BBC Sport in 2019, where he pointed the finger of blame for the club's decline in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era at former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

“At the moment there is a structure with a scouting division and above that is someone at Woodward's right hand," he said.

“The structure is not so bad but the right hand has to be a technical director with a football view, not somebody with a banker's role.

“Unfortunately, we are talking about a commercial club, not a football club. I spoke to Ferguson about this and in his last years, he also had problems with it."

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