Van Gaal admits he was close to accepting Tottenham offer

Neterlands coach Louis van Gaal will start work as Manchester United boss once the World Cup is over.  

UNITED PHOTOS/Action Images / Reuters

Louis van Gaal has revealed he was "very close" to taking the Tottenham job before agreeing to replace David Moyes at Manchester United.

The 62-year-old will stand down from his current role as Holland boss after the World Cup to take over at Old Trafford.

But he was linked with Spurs when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked last December, and more recently when the position of now-departed Tim Sherwood had begun to look uncertain.

Speaking at Holland’s World Cup training base in Santpoort, the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss admitted the White Hart Lane post had been a tempting proposition.

Asked how near he was to taking the job, Van Gaal said: "Very close, very close.

"As a little boy I was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur with the team of Jimmy Greaves when he was the champion. Jimmy Greaves was my idol, so I was very close."

Holland take on Wales in Amsterdam in Wednesday in a final friendly before they leave for Brazil but Van Gaal is disappointed that his players will not be facing Champions League winner Gareth Bale.


The Real Madrid star withdrew from Chris Coleman’s squad citing a leg injury, while influential Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been rested.

"I am a little bit disappointed but I can understand it because Bale has a difficult, but also impressive, season under his belt," Van Gaal said.

"It is better that we have the best team of Wales because we need resistance. I think Wales without these players are weaker.

"But I have seen Wales play, against Iceland and Finland, and I like the way that they play – they want the ball.

"So it’s not a bad team – but with Bale it is always better, with Ramsey also."