Van Gaal agreed to replace Sir Alex

But Van Gaal did not get the job in 2002 due to Fergie’s spectacular U-turn on his retirement plans, according to the Daily Mirror.

Van Gaal revealed his link with United in the autobiography the Bayern Munich boss launched last week.

He said: “It was before the World Cup of 2002. I was in contact with Manchester United through Peter Kenyon [then chief executive, above].

“It was said to me that Alex Ferguson was going to retire.

“The moment he’d go, I’d succeed him. But in the end Ferguson didn’t want to quit!”