The Dutchman took charge from David Moyes who lasted just ten months at Old Trafford after taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Tottenham Hotspur Came Close to Appointing Louis van Gaal
At the end of the 2013/14 season, Tottenham were on the lookout for new manager after relieving Tim Sherwood of his duties. Sherwood managed for 28 games after he took over from Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked in December.
Van Gaal led the Dutch national team to a third place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup but left his post shortly after its conclusion.
This availability drew the attention of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who flew to Holland to begin negotiating a deal with the free agent.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, van Gaal said: “Daniel Levy flew into Holland with a private jet and came to my house, where we spoke for several hours.
“He even stayed on to watch the Southampton-Spurs match later that afternoon [which Spurs won 3-2]. He asked for my thoughts about that game, so that was a kind of test as well.”
Spurs Snubbed Due to Slow Negotiations
Although there had been initial contract talks between Tottenham and van Gaal, delayed negotiations allowed Manchester United to swoop in with an offer of their own.
“It took Spurs a long time to make a firm offer, and United approached me in the meantime. They acted far quicker,” van Gaal continued.
“I also liked the idea of going there, to coach the number one club in England – just like I had done before in Holland, Spain and Germany. If Spurs had come with a concrete offer earlier on, I’d have signed for them.
“Spurs were actually a club I liked when I was younger, as I was a big fan of Jimmy Greaves. I told Levy that as well, but he blew the chance by waiting so long.”
Despite winning the FA Cup for United, van Gaal was sacked from his post at the end of his second season in Manchester.
Fortunately for Spurs and Levy, United’s poach allowed them to make a move for Mauricio Pochettino, who led the north London club back into regular European limelight.