Van Gaal plays cards close to chest over Old Trafford move

Holland coach Louis van Gaal has again refused to answer questions on the prospects of him becoming Manchester United manager.

Van Gaal plays cards close to chest over Old Trafford move

The Dutchman has long been tipped to succeed David Moyes in a permanent role at Old Trafford but an announcement has yet to be forthcoming from the club.

Van Gaal, who was also linked with Tottenham, is currently preparing for the World Cup and at a press conference ahead of a squad announcement, he was in no mood to discuss his future.

“No, I would not say anything about it. I am here for the Dutch team, not as a coach of Manchester United,” he said when asked about the prospect of him taking over at Old Trafford.

“You’ll have to wait until the process is finished or [put] questions to Manchester United — or perhaps to another club. I cannot say anything further about it.”

Meanwhile, United midfielder Michael Carrick has paid tribute to departing team-mates Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand after both centre-backs were allowed to leave Old Trafford.

Ferdinand announced on Monday his career with the Red Devils had come to an end, following centre-back partner Vidic out of the club as the Serbian had already signed a deal with Inter Milan for next season.

The defensive pair were pivotal to United’s success in recent years and they were integral parts of the title-winning teams in 2007, ’08 and ’09 — both were named in the PFA Team of the Year at the end of each campaign — and Carrick knows they will be missed.

“1st Vida [Vidic] now Rio, we’ve shared so much,” the England international wrote on Twitter.

“Both 2 of the very best defenders of ALL TIME and I don’t say that lightly,

“Vida, simply the best out and out defender I’ve seen. Aggression and desire to win at all costs, scared centre forwards to death!

“Rio, A Rolls Royce, best all round CB, got the lot, defend, quick, composed beyond belief and made those around him better players.”

The decision to let Ferdinand go ignores the advice of interim manager Ryan Giggs, who insisted earlier this month the defender could still make a useful contribution and should be offered a new deal.

But Vidic believes Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, both of whom were included in England’s World Cup squad, and Jonny Evans can step up and fill the void left by his and Ferdinand’s absence.

“I think it’s up to the new manager to decide but what I have to say is I have been training and playing with these guys and they definitely have all the ability they need to become top players,” he told manutd.com.

“I think Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, first of all, are people who are attracting a lot of interest here because they are national team players and the future of English football, not just Manchester United.

“They definitely have the physical strength, pace and technique to play for this club and I think now is the time for them to step up next year and to maybe form the new partnership with Jonny Evans.

“I believe those three have to be the players who are carrying on and becoming the United defenders for the next seven or eight years. I think they have that capability and the experience to step up.”

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