BERLIN, Germany, Feb 28 – Louis van Gaal has ruled out returning to Bayern Munich and succeeding Jupp Heynckes — as long as Uli Hoeness remains club president.
Bayern are 19 points clear in the Bundesliga table and in the hunt for the treble of European, German league and cup titles.
However, Bayern’s current head coach Heynckes, 72, has repeatedly said he will quit at the end of the season.
The search is on to replace him and Van Gaal, currently without a club, would be an obvious candidate.
The 66-year-old has won 20 club titles in his career, most recently the 2016 FA Cup in a two-year stint at Manchester United.
He coached Bayern from 2009-11, losing the 2010 Champions League final, but winning the Bundesliga and German Cup titles only to be sacked the following season.
The Dutchman says he “loves” Bayern, but ruled out returning.
“I have always gone back, whether it was to Barcelona, the national Dutch team, AZ Alkmaar, but returning to Bayern? – I can’t imagine that,” Van Gaal told magazine Sport Bild.
“As long as Uli Hoeness is at the club, I won’t work there.”
Van Gaal was dismissed in April 2011 when Bayern slipped out of the German league’s top three — the Champions League places at the time.
The Dutchman lifted the lid on working under Hoeness.
“Uli Hoeness has cultivated special relationships with certain players and campaigns for their interests,” Van Gaal explained.
“Like (Franck) Ribery, who according to Mr Hoeness, should always play.
“In my opinion, that’s not good for the work of a coach.
“The team is important and not the individual players – in this regard Hoeness and I differ.
“After one conversation (with Hoeness) my wife told me I should quit FC Bayern.
“I kept working there because I love the club.
– Never give up –
“The German mentality is also my mentality.
“Hard training, fight until the end, never give up – the job was made for me.”
Van Gaal says Hoeness would criticise him for blooding current stars, like Thomas Mueller and David Alaba who were inexperienced at the time.
“I would always select Thomas Mueller (early in his career) and Hoeness would tell my wife in the VIP lounge ‘your husband has picked the wrong team again!’,” said Van Gaal.
“Same with David Alaba.
“He made a mistake in the last minute of a game which led to my dismissal.
“Now he is one of the biggest talents Bayern has.”
The Dutch disciplinarian confirmed two legends from his turbulent times at Bayern.
He admits once pulling striker Luca Toni by the ear for slouching during a meal – “it was disrespectful to his team-mates and me”.
He also hints that he pulled down his underwear in the dressing room, after defeat at Mainz, to show his stars he “had the balls” to drop them.
“What happened with my players behind closed doors should remain so, but anyone who knows me also knows it could have happened. I am emotional,” said Van Gaal.
Despite his personality clash with Hoeness, Van Gaal talked of his affection for Bayern.
“Manchester United, the last team I coached, are a commercial club, Bayern are totally different,” he said.
“The bosses, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, are former players who know what they are talking about.
“For them, football is the most important thing, not money, like it is at United.
“That’s why I love FC Bayern.”