Soccer-United remain quiet on likely Van Gaal appointment


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LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Dutchman Louis van Gaal remains poised to become Manchester United's new manager but media reports that he would be confirmed on Thursday before the release of the club's financial results proved unfounded.

The former Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is preparing to lead Netherlands at next month's World Cup and United are anxious to name the successor to the sacked David Moyes before the tournament kicks off in Brazil.

It is believed an announcement was delayed to respect Van Gaal's national team training duties this weekend although he is thought to already be involved in conversations about transfers and youth development with United officials.

"We expect to make an announcement in due course. In the meantime we continue to be active in the transfer market," executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said on Thursday.

"Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure the team is back challenging for the title and trophies next season."

Van Gaal, 62, has been the leading contender for the role since former Everton boss Moyes was fired in April, 10 months after replacing Alex Ferguson who retired after 26 glittering years at the helm of England's biggest club.

Reports on Thursday said United's longest-serving player Ryan Giggs, who managed the team for the final four games of the Premier League season, had held talks with Van Gaal about becoming his number two.

United finished the season in seventh place, meaning they will be without European football next season.

Should Van Gaal take charge he will have the task of rebuilding the squad and mounting a title challenge next season and would almost certainly have a large transfer kitty after United reported a 60 percent increase in quarterly profits. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tony Jimenez and Justin Palmer)

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