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Manchester United: Former boss Louis van Gaal has warned Ajax coach Erik ten Hag not to go to Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal says it would be a "difficult choice" for Erik ten Hag to join Manchester United because they "are a commercial club"; Van Gaal spent two seasons in charge at Old Trafford, winning the FA Cup; he is now Netherlands national team manager

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Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has warned Erik ten Hag he should choose a club focused on football rather than a 'commercial' one like United

Louis van Gaal has warned Manchester United target Erik ten Hag off a move to Old Trafford, saying he "must choose a football club and not a commercial club."

The Ajax coach is one of the favourites to be appointed United boss but Van Gaal - who spent two seasons in charge at United and lifted the FA Cup in 2016 - says his compatriot has a "difficult choice" about whether to come to Manchester.

"Erik ten Hag is a great coach and that is always good for Manchester United," said Van Gaal, who is currently in charge of the Netherlands. "But Manchester United are a commercial club, so it's a difficult choice for a coach. He'd better go to a football club.

"I'm not going to advise him, he'll call me himself. But he must choose a football club and not a commercial club.'

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win over Tottenham in the Premier League

United want to make a permanent appointment before the summer and plan to speak to a number of candidates, with Ten Hag understood to have met with the Premier League club as part of that process last week.

Former Tottenham and current Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino, Spain boss Luis Enrique and Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui have also been linked with the vacant post.

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Highlights of the international friendly between the Netherlands and Denmark

United - who face Leicester live on Sky Sports on Saturday - are currently in a battle for a Champions League qualifying spot, sitting sixth in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

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Among Premier League clubs, the latest Deloitte Money League places United second for total revenue in 2021, only trailing local rivals Manchester City.

However, outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insisted the "top priority is success on the pitch" when he spoke in November 2021.

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LVG's formation clash with Van Dijk

Van Gaal was also firm this week when he shut down suggestions his defender Virgil van Dijk would prefer to play in a different formation.

The Netherlands lined up in a 3-4-1-2 system for their 4-2 win over Denmark on Saturday. Afterwards, Liverpool centre-back Van Dijk said: "Of course, we are playing in a new system, different things are required of the players. But I think we showed a lot of good things.

"Do I like the system? Well, I'm still in favour of 4-3-3 but I'm not the national coach and the national coach has a very strong opinion about it."

Van Gaal, who became Netherlands coach for a third time in August and helped them qualify for Qatar 2022, said in response: "I know he has that preference, he always said this publicly.

"We already had this debate when I came here. The manager decides the tactics."

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