English Premiership

Louis Van Gaal: 'Spurs waited too long to make an offer'

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Daniel Levy (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Daniel Levy (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has revealed he was prepared to join Tottenham before Manchester United swooped in to offer him a deal in 2014.

The Dutchman was brought into the club as successor to David Moyes and led the club a fourth-placed finish in his first season in charge before winning the FA Cup in his second.

Van Gaal was sacked at the end of his second season immediately after winning the FA Cup and replaced in the Old Trafford hotseat by Jose Mourinho.

Prior to his appointment at United, he was pursued by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy but they were slow in making him an offer, so he decided to move to Manchester.

Spurs subsequently hired Mauricio Pochettino, which worked out well for the north London club, and Van Gaal has revealed Tottenham's interest in him.

"Daniel Levy flew into Holland with a private jet and came to my house, where we spoke for several hours," Van Gaal told FourFourTwo.

"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.

"When Levy wanted to leave in the evening, I noticed there were TV cameras outside my house. A Dutch broadcaster had heard that he was in Holland, and guessed he would be here for me.

"As we wanted to keep it quiet, I called my neighbour to ask whether he could take him away in his car. As they did, with Levy hiding in the back seat, I opened my front door and approached the reporters to ask what they were doing.

"It worked out very well – they were taken by surprise. As a coach, timing is everything! But it took Spurs a long time to make a firm offer, and United approached me in the meantime. They acted far quicker.

"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."

- TEAMtalk media

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