Louis van Gaal: ‘I can only speak about Liverpool as an opponent'

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LONDON. KAZINFORM - Louis van Gaal has been keeping an eye on Liverpool. He knows the run they have put together since the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford in December and says he is not surprised.

"At that time they were under their level in the league," the Manchester United manager says. "That was the surprise, with the players they have. But now you can see they have a very good team, even if they were not so good in the first half against Swansea. We played very well in our last game, but we need another victory to confirm the improvement we showed against Tottenham Hotspur. This time Liverpool are playing at home and Manchester United have a bad record at Anfield. So it will be difficult, but I like Liverpool's players and they more or less play my system, which I started here with United." Brendan Rogers might take issue with some or all of that, though both managers are aware that had things worked out differently Liverpool could have been playing a Van Gaal system a couple of seasons ago. The present United manager was one of the candidates approached by the Anfield hierarchy before Rodgers was appointed in 2012. At one stage a combination of the two was suggested, with Van Gaal working as a technical director, but Rodgers rejected that plan and ended up with the job in his own right, Kazinform quotes the Guardian. Van Gaal has no regrets - "I am the manager of Manchester United, the No1 club in England" - but it does explain his familiarity with the Liverpool setup. "It was flattering, it is always pleasing to be contacted by a leading club, and Liverpool have a very good record in history," he says. "But I am the coach of United now, I can only speak about Liverpool as an opponent. It is not so interesting any more, it is in the past. It was the same with Tottenham last week. I have spoken to a lot of clubs but it is not good for Liverpool, Tottenham or for me to reopen things that are in the past." Only two things lie in the future for a coach who has managed leading clubs in England, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany - Manchester United and then retirement. The 63-year-old indicated a few days ago United will be his last job in football, so his days of speaking to other clubs would appear to be over. "I can confirm this will be my last club but there could be five years to go yet," he says. "I might extend my contract, you never know. I am in a situation where I signed for three years, because you can build something up in that time and the club agreed with that. At this moment I don't know how I would react were Manchester United to ask me to extend. You would have to be in that moment in the future to decide. "I do know that this is my last club. I have to please my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. I could have worked every year but I take sabbaticals to see more of my family. I'm a lucky guy."

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