Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal has been appointed the new manager of Manchester United, the club have confirmed.

The 62-year-old former Ajax and Barcelona coach has signed a three-year contract and will take charge after the summer's World Cup, where he will coach Netherlands and replaces David Moyes after the Scot was sacked in April.

Ryan Giggs has been installed as assistant manager, with Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout joining the backroom team.

"It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League," Van Gaal, who becomes United's first ever foreign manager, said.

"To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud. I have managed in games at Old Trafford before and know what an incredible arena Old Trafford is and how passionate and knowledgeable the fans are. This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I'm sure we will make history."

Van Gaal joins United less than a month after the club sacked David Moyes, who presided over a disastrous nine months at Old Trafford. The Dutchman had been heavily linked with United ever since the Scot was dismissed on 22 April.

Giggs, who was appointed as interim boss following the dismissal of Moyes, added: "I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager.

"Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters. Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I'm delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role."

Rich but chequered pedigree

United's new manager commands a rich pedigree, having won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, as well as two La Liga titles with Barcelona and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. He even guided unfashionable Alkmaar to the Dutch league championship in 2009.

Van Gaal is also known to have a good working relationship with Robin van Persie, even inviting United's star striker to go on scouting missions with him ahead of the World Cup, and he is revered for his ability to hone the skills of young players - an attribute which could prove vital at United, who have a profusion of talented young players coming through.

However his career has been pockmarked by rumours of fall-outs with senior players, including Rivaldo, Juan Roman Requelme and Luca Toni.

He was sacked by Barcelona in 2003, with the club just three points above the relegation zone, and was also dismissed by Bayern Munich in 2011 after falling out of the top three of the Bundesliga.