Van Gaal hints at delaying ‘paradise’ for United
The Dutchman has previously stated that he will retire from football when his deal with United expires in 2017 to spend more time with his wife Truus at their villa in Portugal.
However, when the 64-year-old was asked on the eve of United’s Champions League Group B clash with Wolfsburg whether he would walk away he was not so definitive.
“Normally I shall leave after next year but what is normal in our football world?” Van Gaal said. “You never know so I cannot answer that question.
“I promised my wife to go with her to our paradise so it shall be very hard for me to deny that promise.
“I was 55 and I go to Bayern Munich and next year I am 65 and say I stay a year longer, it shall be very hard to my wife.”
Van Gaal is set to be without defender Antonio Valencia and midfield duo Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera after the trio missed training ahead of the match with knocks.
Defender Marcos Rojo is still struggling with a hamstring injury while left-back Luke Shaw is a long-term absentee with a broken leg.
The United manager believes that winning the European Cup is a “realistic” target during his managerial tenure at United, who lost their Group B opener against PSV Eindhoven a fortnight ago.
“I hope so. It is realistic. Why? Because I did it everywhere,” Van Gaal added.
“Reaching the final is an aim and winning the final is a little bit luck, I think so it is not only quality, it is also luck and I think Manchester United knows and remembers that fantastically when they win the Champions League in 1999.
“I saw at that time the people of Bayern Munich going downstairs and then they scored in the last minute and then in extra time they scored.
“You can say that is quality but when you see the match you know it is not like that. You need also luck. When you come in the final, it is a fantastic result but in the media it is nothing because second is not the best. That’s the only thing that counts.
“For me as a manager, when you reach the final, you have done fantastically and win the final, of course, all the honours is going to your team and yourself but I know better.”
United currently sit at the top of the Premier League table and Van Gaal believes he can regularly see the improvement and development of his players.
“We have made progressions in maturity of the team and the balance of the team. We are still improving and I can see that every week,” Van Gaal said.
“We have improved when we have to compare with the team of last year, and we need still time to improve because we have to improve to win the championship of the Premier League or a competition like the Champions League.
“I think in the Champions League you need to win all your home matches otherwise it shall be very difficult.”