Louis van Gaal is set to be named as the next permanent manager of Manchester United this week following the sacking of David Moyes, but the experienced Dutchman has been warned by former club captain Steve Bruce that an enormous challenge lies ahead.
Van Gaal will lead the Netherlands at the World Cup this summer and has instructed Manchester United that his future must be decided before he begins a pre-tournament camp with his players on May 7. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager will reportedly sign a three-year contract.
Ryan Giggs will remain in temporary charge of Manchester United until Van Gaal arrives at Old Trafford and, although his future is yet to be decided, he is expected to retained on the coaching staff. But, while Giggs is likely to stay with the club, Manchester United are set to lose a number of prominent players this summer.
Nemanja Vidic has already agreed a free transfer to Inter Milan, while Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are both out of contract. The potential loss of these three players, says Bruce, will be difficult to overcome, even for a manager of Van Gaal’s pedigree.
“Everybody is saying it is going to be Van Gaal and the guy has a fantastic record in management,” the Hull City manager said, as reported by The Telegraph. “And when he gets it, he will be taking charge of a fantastic club.”
He added: “It is a hard job, though, because time catches up with everybody and that is there to see with the players in United’s back four.
“Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have been United’s back four for almost 10 years and how do you replace them?
“No matter how many millions you have, it is not going to be easy to find players to come in and replace them.
“In Vidic and Ferdinand alone, you have two centre-halves with years of experience that you just cannot find easily.”