Van Gaal Linked With Netherlands Job

Louis van Gaal

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is being linked with a return to the position of Netherlands manager.

On Sunday, Netherlands sacked coach Danny Blind in the wake of their World Cup qualifying loss to Bulgaria. The Oranje are in danger of failing to reach a second successive major international tournament after the defeat left them fourth in Group A, six points adrift of leaders France and three behind second-placed Sweden.

Theo Pouw, of Netherlands fan group Supporters club Oranje, said Van Gaal is the “best coach” currently available to replace Blind.

“Under Van Gaal, we finished third at the [2014] World Cup,” Pouw told De Telegraaf.

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, meanwhile, told Telesport in quotes reported by the Daily Mirror: “Van Gaal has obviously a fantastic record with the Holland national team.”

“With a lot of guys who are now his. So we know him. I do not know. We must wait and see whether he is open for a return.”

Other managers to be linked with the vacant position include Everton’s Ronald Koeman, ex-Inter Milan boss Frank de Boer and former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

It is also being reported that Van Gaal could play a role in assisting the Dutch football association (KNVB) in finding Blind’s replacement.

KNVB technical director Jean Paul Decossaux mentioned Van Gaal’s name to De Telegraaf on Sunday and added: “We hope to have a new coach in place quickly but it won’t be ready in one week.”

“A foreign trainer is also an option. Our list of candidates can be made up of whoever is going to take Dutch football forward. That will undoubtedly include Ronald Koeman although we know he is also under contract with his club.”

Interim coach Fred Grim will lead Netherlands for the friendly against Italy in Amsterdam on Tuesday night, but there is no rush to appoint a permanent successor to Blind. On Monday, Decossaux told a news conference that contingency plans were in place as the search began.