Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has extended his contract until 2012, signing his new deal on the eve of the German club’s Champions League tie with Basle.
The 59-year-old has only signed a 12-month extension to the deal which was due to expire next summer since he intends to become the coach of a national team following Euro 2012.
Nevertheless, he will remain faithful to the Bavarians for the next 20 months and he expressed his delight at being given the opportunity to carry on working with Germany’s most successful club.
“I am glad that I will be staying in Munich for a further year,” he said.
“We have started something here that I would like to continue. And FC Bayern give me opportunities that I as a coach could not find better anywhere else.”
Van Gaal led Bayern Munich to a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double last season - his first at the club – while the Bavarians were beaten in the Champions League final by Inter Milan.
Things have not gone so well yet this season, with just two wins and two draws from the first six games of the Bundesliga season leaving Bayern 10 points adrift of the early-season pace-setters Mainz – against whom they lost 2-1 at home on Saturday.
Yet that is precisely why now is the right time for Bayern to show their commitment to Van Gaal, according to the club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“We are absolutely convinced with Louis Van Gaal’s work,” he said.
“It is too easy to extend contracts after successes and we have chosen a rather difficult situation for this contract extension in order to show ahead of the Champions League duel with Basle that we are happy with Van Gaal’s philosophy and that we would like to bring continuity to the sporting side of the club with him.”
Van Gaal’s coaching team of Andrie Jonker, Frans Hoek, Jos van Dyk, Marcel Bout and Max Reckers have also had their contracts extended by a year.