Louis van Gaal at his unveiling as Manchester United manager. Photo: AFP
MANCHESTER, England- Louis van Gaal claims balancing Manchester United's commercial ambitions with their desire for success on the field will be one of his biggest challenges at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal was officially unveiled as United's new manager at Old Trafford on Thursday and, speaking at his first press conference, the Dutchman emphasised that he understood the extra responsibilities that come with managing a club of United's global stature.
United will shortly undertake a pre-season tour of the United States and, without European football next season, the Premier League giants may be tempted to play exhibition friendly matches during the quiet periods of the season to generate extra revenue.
"This club is also guided in the commercial way and we have to fulfil that also," Van Gaal said.
"That is not always possible, to fulfil the commercial expectations or the football expectations. That is my biggest challenge after two weeks."
Van Gaal confirmed he will not hesitate to speak to former United manager Alex Ferguson, with whom he already has a solid relationship and a great admiration, about the club.
"I think he has a good philosophy. I hope I can do that and start with philosophy," he said.
"He (Ferguson) called me to congratulate me and when we have spoken about a coffee to drink, or to eat."
Van Gaal insisted that his initial remit at Old Trafford will be to make United's first team successful rather than a broader mandate to change the overall setup of the club, including the youth sides.
The Dutchman indicated he would find room in his backroom staff for some of United's former players from the 'class of 1992' including Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, who led the Netherlands to a third place finish at the World Cup in Brazil, has not yet made a decision of whether compatriot Robin van Persie or fellow striker Wayne Rooney will be appointed as the club's new captain.
Van Gaal was also dealt a blow before the Premier League season has even started after England midfielder Michael Carrick was ruled out for up to three months with ankle ligament damage.