sport

Rooney welcomes Van Gaal

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has welcomed the arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal at the Old Trafford helm.

United confirmed the Netherlands national coach as their new manager, with Ryan Giggs as his assistant, on Monday afternoon and Rooney took to social media to welcome the Dutchman.

The 28-year-old tweeted: "Great to see Louis Van Gaal has been named @ManUtd manager. Looking forward to working with him."

The England striker also offered his congratulations to former team-mate Giggs, who has decided to end his illustrious playing career at Old Trafford to become Van Gaal's assistant.

"Congratulations also to Ryan Giggs on a special career and becoming assistant manager, I'm sure he will do a great job," Rooney tweeted.

Rooney had looked certain to be made permanent United captain under former manager David Moyes but Van Gaal, who will arrive at Old Trafford after Holland complete their World Cup campaign in Brazil, may favour giving the armband to current Dutch captain Robin van Persie.

Van Gaal's quotes praising Van Persie after his goal in Holland's 1-1 draw with Ecuador on Saturday would certainly suggest that the former Arsenal forward may pip Rooney to the skipper's armband.

The 62-year-old said: "Van Persie is my captain, he's my top scorer in the one-and-a-half years that he has played under me. He became the all-time top scorer of the Dutch team, he plays superb football and even coming back from a bad injury he scores a fantastic, unbelievable goal.

"I was happy with his performance, but he is also a fantastic captain. I think you always make a player captain when you have the same morals and philosophy. Not only about football and tactics and what is happening on the pitch but about life. I think that's very important and I believe that van Persie and van Gaal share the same philosophy."

United midfielder Michael Carrick took to Twitter on Monday, saying: "Big day..... New manager in & Giggsy hanging his boots up. Can't wait to get started again, looking forward to the next chapter."

Spanish forward Juan Mata added on Twitter: "Big day at the club. Looking forward to start the new season!"

Van Gaal has also been welcomed to the Premier League by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who is looking forward to pitting his wits against the Dutchman next season.

Mourinho said: "He is a great football manager and I am happy he joins me in the same country and the Premier League.

"But more important than that, he's a great guy, a great man and I wish him good."