Louis van Gaal flew in to Manchester on Wednesday morning before arriving at a “buzzing” Manchester United training base to hold his first meeting as manager and inform the squad that the aim next season is to claim a 21st championship.
With Van Gaal expected sometime after 9.30am, the Dutchman aimed to start his first day by leaving the players in no doubt of his ambition.
His impending arrival was understood to have staff and players excited, with one source stating that “there was a real buzz” at Carrington.
While United finished seventh last season, 24 points behind Manchester City, under the former manager David Moyes, Van Gaal is confident that he can lead the club to the title once more.
Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera have already been bought to strengthen the team before the recruitment of at least one central defender and the possible addition of another central midfielder and left-back.
Van Gaal has wasted little time since taking Holland to third place at the World Cup by maintaining contact with Ryan Giggs, his assistant manager, and the rest of his coaching staff.
After meeting the players, Van Gaal will lead a first training session before taking lunch with the squad, and will then address a busy in-tray that includes deciding whether to offer contracts to six fringe players who have between a year and two years left on their deals. Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley, Javier Hernández, Shinji Kagawa, Darren Fletcher, and Ashley Young are all waiting to discover their fate.
With United flying to America on Friday for their summer tour, Van Gaal will effectively use the coming week until their first game, against LA Galaxy on 23 July in Pasadena, to assess whom of these six may have a future at United.