Louis van Gaal says he does not regret taking on the Manchester United job and says if he wanted an easy life he would have opted to manage Tottenham Hotspur.
Van Gaal was linked with the Spurs vacancy before United pounced to bring him to Old Trafford as a replacement for David Moyes.
After a successful pre-season, hopes were high for the new campaign, but his start in England has not gone as well as expected. United have taken just two points from their three opening games against Swansea, Sunderland and Burnley – matches, which on paper, at least, appeared to provide the new manager with a relatively easy start to his Old Trafford career.
A humiliating 4-0 defeat to League One outfit, MK Dons, in the Capital One Cup compounded the sense that this was never going to be a quick-fix for the experienced Dutchman.
But, despite the shaky start to the season, Van Gaal remains convinced he made the right decision and says he was attracted to the United post because of the scale of the task.
“No, I don’t regret taking this job,” he said. “Yes, it is a massive job I have taken on at Manchester United. I realise that. And the situation is not worse than I thought – I knew what I would find on my plate.
“I could have opted for an easier job. If I had gone to Tottenham, the job would not have been as enormous as here at United.
“I could have easily gone to Spurs. But I chose the biggest challenge of all the jobs in football. And I really wanted to join the number one club in the country, not Tottenham.
“Financially, Tottenham was kind of as attractive as Man United. But, in my eyes, Man United is still the number one club in England, Tottenham really is not.”
Indeed, in terms of spending power, United have been flexing their muscles this summer. Van Gaal has paid £59.7m for Di María, a £6m loan fee for Falcao, £27m for Luke Shaw, £28m for Ander Herrera, £16m for Marcos Rojo and £14m for Daley Blind.
But, there remains more money at his disposal and reports today claim that provided Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman recovers from a serious knee injury, he will be a target for the January transfer window.
Borussia Dortmund captain, Mats Hummels, is also believed to be on United’s radar.