On Wednesday Van Gaal meets his squad for the first time, before Thursday’s planned official unveiling and Friday’s early afternoon flight to the United States for the start of the summer tour, so the Dutchman will use the six-day training camp in Los Angeles ahead of the opening game to assess the six.
Louis van Gaal began his first official day as Manchester
United manager by being briefed by his staff,
Albert Stuivenberg, Marcel Bout and Ryan Giggs, regarding
which players had impressed during his absence, before the
Dutchman took his first session at 5.30pm.
Van Gaal introduced himself to the players individually
during lunch but it is understood he is waiting for the return
of many of those who are on a post-World Cup break,
including Wayne Rooney, before he addresses the squad as a
Van Gaal landed at Manchester airport at 11.50am before
being taken in a club car to Carrington. He was shown
around a “buzzing” complex, including the manager’s office
previously occupied by David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Van Gaal was unable to meet all of the club staff but at 1pm
he had lunch with the first-team and youth players plus their
respective coaching staffs, as he had ordered, and which will
be the ongoing routine. He then posed for pictures alongside
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, and Giggs.
The players had been at Carrington since 9.30am for the first
of the double sessions Van Gaal has ordered, with the first of
them being taken by his backroom team. After lunch the
squad were told to report back for the 5.30pm session, with
players free to go home or sleep on site, as Van Gaal
prepared to lead them for the first time.
With Van Gaal’s transfer priorities a centre-back and central
midfielder, the Dutchman took particular note of Chris
Smalling and Tom Cleverley during training. Because the
former has two years left on his contract and the latter a
year, their futures are under threat as the manager decides
who should be part of his plans.
Van Gaal wants to buy Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen, and
Smalling could be offered as a makeweight in any deal if
Arsène Wenger wants to ensure he has a replacement for the