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Prolific former forward 'in talks' over Man United return as staff member

Goal machine returns? Prolific former forward 'in talks' over Man United move
© Reuters
Manchester United approach Ruud van Nistelrooy about a possible return to Old Trafford as a staff member, according to a report.

Manchester United have reportedly approached Ruud van Nistelrooy about a possible return to Old Trafford as part of Erik ten Hag's coaching set-up next season.

Van Nistelrooy famously represented the Red Devils between 2001 and 2006, scoring 150 goals and registering 30 assists in 219 appearances for the club in all competitions.

The Dutchman also represented Den Bosch, Heerenveen, PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid, Hamburger SV and Malaga during a professional career which lasted between 1993 and 2012.

Van Nistelrooy featured 70 times for the Netherlands, meanwhile, and he entered coaching in 2014 as assistant manager for his country, before taking charge of PSV Eindhoven Under-19s between 2018 and 2021.

The former forward was also assistant for his country between 2019 and 2022, in addition to managing PSV Eindhoven's second team between 2021 and 2022.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrate with the trophy after winning the FA Cup on May 22, 2004© Reuters

Van Nistelrooy 'could return to Man United'

Van Nistelrooy was appointed PSV's first-team manager in March 2022 and signed a three-year contract at the start of the 2022-23 season, which saw him land the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield.

However, the Dutchman resigned just before the end of the 2022-23 campaign, complaining that he was lacking support from the club.

Burnley are being strongly linked with Van Nistelrooy, with the 47-year-old allegedly wanted by the Clarets as a replacement for Vincent Kompany.

However, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Man United have been in touch to offer him the chance to be on Ten Hag's staff at Old Trafford next season; Romano claims that a decision will be made "next week".

Ten Hag's future with Man United had been in severe doubt, but the club have now decided to keep him in place, at least for the start of the 2024-25 campaign.

Manchester United's Erik ten Hag celebrates in August 2023© Reuters

Van Nistelrooy recently praised Ten Hag's work

"There is a long history of great Dutch coaches, and I have so much admiration for the careers they have had. Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, Dick Advocaat, and now of course, Erik ten Hag and Arne Slot," he told Coaches Voice.

"It is motivational for me to continue learning, to continue improving myself, and maybe one day make the steps to show I am capable of that. It's a fantastic challenge, and I'm looking forward to taking it on.

"I love the game, and I love a certain way of playing. At Manchester United, Sir Alex was always pushing us forward. Look forward, play forward, get crosses in, shoot on target.

"As a player, I loved the way that made me feel. I wanted to play like that, and I want to transmit that same feeling to my teams, to my players."

Van Nistelrooy won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield during his time at Old Trafford, and he is widely regarded as one of the best finishers in the history of the club.

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