Manchester United: Louis van Gaal arrives at training ground

Louis van Gaal, Ryan Giggs and Ed Woodward
Louis van Gaal met with assistant manager Ryan Giggs and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward

Louis van Gaal's reign as Manchester United manager began on Wednesday as he arrived at the club's training ground for the first time.

The Dutchman was appointed in May but has been in Brazil throughout the summer, guiding the Netherlands to a third-placed finish at the World Cup.

United returned for pre-season training on 4 July, with assistant Ryan Giggs taking charge in Van Gaal's absence.

Van Gaal will hold a news conference at 15:00 BST on Thursday.

The 62-year-old, who was pictured at Carringtonexternal-link - where he met players and other staff, has been asked to rejuvenate United following last season's disappointing campaign under David Moyes.

And Van Gaal has said he is aiming to instil the same team unity at Old Trafford as the Dutch side displayed in Brazil.

"I hope the group in Manchester will become like this one," said Van Gaal after the Dutch ended their World Cup with a 3-0 victory over the host nation in the third-place play-off game.

"We have to sing from the same hymn sheet."

A United squad containing new signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, bought in at a combined cost of £56m, head to the United States on Friday for a five-match tour.

Manchester United tour dates
23 July v Los Angeles Galaxy
26 Julyv AS Roma (Denver)
29 Julyv Inter Milan (Washington)
2 Augustv Real Madrid (Michigan)
4 AugustInternational Champions Cup final (Miami)

Van Gaal, who has won titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmaar, will take charge of a United match for the first time on 23 July against Los Angeles Galaxy, captained by Robbie Keane.

United then face AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup, which also features Liverpool and Manchester City. They play a fifth game in the US on Monday, 4 August.

Giggs, 40, took charge for four games at the end of last season following Moyes' dismissal.

Moyes was sacked 10 months into his six-year contract at Old Trafford. The club were seventh in the table when he left and guaranteed to record their lowest points tally since the Premier League began.

Van Gaal's major titles
National leagues: Ajax (1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96), Barcelona (1997-98, 1998-99), AZ Alkmaar (2008-09), Bayern Munich (2009-10)
Champions League: Ajax (1994-95)
Uefa Cup: Ajax (1991-92)

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is convinced Van Gaal is the right man to replace Moyes.

"The board is right behind him in his plans and everyone here is looking forward to the start of the season," said Woodward. "His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice."

Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward
Louis van Gaal (left) has held talks with Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward
A large-scale portrait of Louis van Gaal
A large-scale portrait of Louis Van Gaal was commissioned to mark the new Manchester United manager's arrival