LONDON - Manchester United returned to a tried and trusted trophy winner after an ill-fated adventure with David Moyes when announcing that Dutchman Louis van Gaal had been handed the job of reviving the club's fortunes on Monday.
The 62-year-old, who has masterminded league titles at some of Europe's biggest clubs including Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and won the Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam, will begin the re-building job at Old Trafford once he has finished national duties at the World Cup.
Ryan Giggs, United's record appearance holder, will work alongside him after his four-game stint in charge following the sacking last month of Moyes, who was given the chance on the back of a long and worthy, but success-starved, 11-year stint in charge of Everton.
"In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement that announced the Dutchman had signed a three-year contract and would start work after leading the Netherlands at the World Cup finals which start next month.
"Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club's history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us."
Van Gaal, who has already been working behind the scenes with United officials regarding potential transfers, is likely to take charge for the first time when United play LA Galaxy in a friendly in Pasadena, California, on July 23 - 10 days after the World Cup final.
"It was always a wish for me to work in the Premier League. To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world, makes me very proud," said Van Gaal, United's first manager from beyond the British Isles.
"This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I'm sure we will make history."