Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal.Reuters

Newly appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will make his Old Trafford debut against Valencia on 12 August in a pre-season friendly, the club announced on Friday.

Van Gaal is currently with the Netherlands' team, which is preparing for a third-place playoff match against Brazil on Saturday. And in the absence of the Dutchman, assistant manager Ryan Giggs is heading United's pre-season training sessions.

Before taking on the La Liga side, the Red Devils will face Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy (23 July), AS Roma (26 July), Inter Milan (29 July) and Champions League winners Real Madrid (2 August) as part of their pre-season tour in the United States.

The Dutch coach might play a full strength United side against Valencia as new signings Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, plus Netherlands' skipper Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney will also join the team by then.

United midfielder Darren Fletcher said that everyone at the club is looking forward to working with the new manager and wants to leave the disappointed last season behind.

"It's another season and an exciting one," Fletcher said. "There are some new signings and a real buzz around the place. Everybody's looking forward to the manager coming in and him getting his ideas in.

"We want to push on after the disappointment of last season. We're desperate to do well for the fans and get the team back to where we belong.

"They'll have a taste on the tour in the US but there will be nothing like playing at Old Trafford. That's the bread and butter. They'll be looking forward to it - it's a magnificent arena."

The match against Valencia will also see Giggs in the dugout as van Gaal's deputy for the first time. The Welshman, who is currently in charge of pre-season preparations at Carrington, said he is in touch with the Dutchman about the team's preparations.

"I flew out and spent a couple of hours with him. We went through players who were at the club - ones who may be going, ones who may be coming in," Giggs said.

"I was there to find out how he works what he likes and give him an insight into anything he might not know about Manchester United," he added. "He knew a lot, as you might expect. But any little thing I could help him about I tried to. We didn't dwell on what happened last season."

Giggs said things would not be easy after a terrible last season but insisted that van Gaal is ready to lead the Old Trafford club back to tPremier League glory.

"He's not scared about the challenge, he's not apprehensive - he can't wait. He has the experience to do it. It won't be easy. It never is. The Premier League's a tough league to win but that's what we'll try to do. I was excited about how forthright and how clear he was about what he expects from the staff and the players."

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