Van Gaal says England next step

20 February 2014 12:32

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal on Wednesday said England is likely to be the next step in his illustrious career following reports linking him to Tottenham.

The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said a move to the Premier League would be "an interesting challenge" after he leads the Netherlands at the World Cup.

Van Gaal, in Brazil for a two-day seminar along with several other World Cup coaches, had been strongly tipped to take over at White Hart Lane following the axing of Andre Villas-Boas earlier this season.

However the 62-year-old Dutch guru said he was open to offers from other English sides.

"I am mostly interested in England because I have been a coach in Spain, Germany and in the Netherlands. So I think England is the next step," van Gaal said.

"Spurs? Well it depends on circumstances and the vacancies. I prefer to focus on this World Cup," concluded van Gaal, noting the Spurs hotseat was now filled by Tim Sherwood.

The Netherlands manager meanwhile tipped Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to overcome a dip in form and shine at the World Cup finals.

"Manchester may be having a difficult time now, but I think he'll be great in the tournament as he loves to play in the Dutch squad," he told reporters.

Van Gaal admitted however he is fearing a worst case scenario of Manchester United overcoming their current poor form and ending up in a Champions League final with Bayern.

Although such an eventuality appears unlikely given United's domestic woes, it would deprive the Netherlands of van Persie and Bayern's Arjen Robben.

"If Bayern Munich plays Manchester United in the final then I don't have my players, my captains," he complained.

With the World Cup in Brazil starting on June 12 that would see his stars have to head across the Atlantic almost immediately.

"That's the calendar. I cannot change it -- only FIFA can change it. But FIFA has to speak also with UEFA."

Van Gaal made Brazil and Argentina his main World Cup favorites as in past tournaments on the continent South American sides have triumphed.

He said Germany also had a chance of glory but that the Spanish could suffer after being drawn in the Dutch group.

"Spain has to win first against Holland -- and that will be very difficult for them," he smiled.

Source: AFP