Louis van Gaal says he is not interested by rumours linking Pep Guardiola with the Manchester United manager’s job.
The Bayern Munich head coach has stated his desire to join a Premier League club once he leaves the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.
Manchester City are the current favourites to land the former Barcelona boss but United have been credited with an interest in his signature, with Guardiola having professed a desire to take charge at Old Trafford in the past.
Van Gaal understands the appeal that England’s top flight has for Guardiola but would not be drawn on the rumours that he will be replaced by the man he coached himself at Camp Nou.
“I have said that two years ago that it is not so strange,” he said. “You have to set your goals as a manager, because managers also have ambition and Pep Guardiola has that ambition and wants to to see the culture of the Premier League, just like I did.
“I have already said that I am at the end of my career, so for me it is not so interesting. For me, what is interesting is how I take care of Manchester United and I still have one year to go after this season.”
United brought back Adnan Januzaj from Borussia Dortmund this week after he failed to make an impact during a loan spell at Signal Iduna Park.
Van Gaal insists he has faith in the Belgium international’s abilities and has challenged him to earn a spot in the first team again once he has proven himself ready for the Under-21 side.
“I believe in Adnan. It’s better he is here to show his talent,” said Van Gaal.
“First, he has to show his fitness in the Under-21s. We have to wait and see if he can play on Monday [away to Reading].”
Van Gaal’s men host Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday – a competition they have not won since 2004 – but the Dutchman does not consider their long wait for the trophy to be an anomaly.
“I don’t think this is crazy as that is football, you can win some and you can lose some,” he said. “I think the FA Cup is very difficult to win and we have seen that already last year when we play against Yeovil and Cambridge United. Every match is difficult to win, no matter what level you have to compete with.”
The former Netherlands boss has also dismissed suggestions that his side have adopted the more attacking approach demanded by the club’s supporters, though he hopes his attackers now have more confidence.
“We are always playing attacking football, only now we have scored and that is the difference,” he added, referring to the 2-1 win over Swansea City. “That shall give more confidence and we have still to see that because one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
“I hope we progress because I see it in the training sessions, but you have to show it on the pitch.”