Louis van Gaal says he has 18 months left at Manchester United and is focused on youth

Louis van Gaal says that it is unlikely he will see his Manchester United team "reach its potential" because he will not extend his contract, instead retiring in 2017.

The 63-year-old had already said when he joined Man United in July 2014 that it would be his last job in football, with his wife wishing retirement to come sooner rather than later so the couple could relax.

Van Gaal won't stay beyond three-year contract ending in 2017

Now Van Gaal, in his second season in charge at Old Trafford, has said that "it would be difficult [for him as manager] to see this team reach its potential because that would mean I would have to stay."

Van Gaal is very much focused on the long-term 'philosophy' and 'process' at Manchester United and in terms of revolutionising the squad left for him by David Moyes. A key part of that is bringing in, and calling up young players.

Alongside Southampton last season, United gave the most academy debuts in the Premier League with Paddy McNair making 16 appearances in the league.

Van Gaal is building for future at United but is set on 2017 retirement

"You have seen what I have said about that [not staying longer than his three-year contract, ending in 2017] - and I always do the things I have said." 

United face Southampton at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon and the two clubs who are keen believers in youth will face each other with players like 19-year-old Anthony Martial and 20-year-old James Ward-Prowse.

Van Gaal calls himself "a trainer-coach who believes in youth", whether that will halt his success as United coach remains to be seen, but he is definitely building a superb squad at Old Trafford.

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