Louis van Gaal backs Erik ten Hag to succeed in new Manchester United era in swipe at Ed Woodward

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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Louis van Gaal has backed Erik ten Hag to turn Manchester United around - now Ed Woodward has left the club.

Richard Arnold has replaced Woodward as the transfer chief at Old Trafford ahead of Dutch coach Ten Hag arriving from Ajax.

Former United manager Van Gaal, who worked under Woodward for two years, has made clear that he is no fan of the 50-year-old executive.

He had previously told Ten Hag to consider turning down the manager's job because United are a “commercial club” and he would be “better going to a football club”.

However, Ten Hag left Ajax to take over at United last month and Van Gaal said on Tuesday: “There is now a new leadership. It was Woodward and now it is Richard Arnold and that can make the difference. So we have to wait and see.

“[Ten Hag] has a lot of confidence. So who am I to say something about that?”

Ten Hag is reportedly keen on making a swift return to his former club to sign Jurrien Timber. The 20-year-old Ajax defender is part of the Holland squad in Cardiff.

Timber is expected to play on Wednesday with Liverpool centre-back Virgil Van Dijk granted time off following a demanding season for club and country.

Van Gaal has said Timber must play first-team football to make his World Cup squad later this year.

He said: “I think a player of his quality can play in the Premier League. That is not a problem. If he has to make this big step now, that's the question.

“[If he does not play] then he is not so wise, I think. He has to play.”

Van Gaal revealed in April that he was battling prostate cancer. The 70-year-old later said the "25 radiation treatments" he had undergone for the disease had been successful.

“This is not the moment to speak about my disease," said Van Gaal. “But I can assure you that I can manage because this group is a present for me. In my career I have never coached such a group."

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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