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Alkmaar approve switch

Van Gaal poised to take Bayern helm

As widely predicted by news media in recent days, Louis van Gaal will shortly be appointed Bayern head coach, the Munich club confirmed on Wednesday evening. The 57-year-old will put his name to a two-year contract in Bavaria, beginning on 1 July this year and lasting until 30 June 2011. The respected Dutchman will ink the deal within the next few days.

The Bayern Munich AG board of directors, comprising Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Karl Hopfner, travelled for talks with Van Gaal’s current club AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday. After a productive and friendly meeting, the visiting directors and Alkmaar President Dirk Scheringa, general director Toon Gerbrands and director of sport Marcel Brands finalised the terms of Van Gaal’s switch to Munich.

The Alkmaar officials agreed to cancel Van Gaal’s contract with AZ a year earlier than its original termination date of 30 June 2010, unconditionally releasing the coach to join his new club at the start of the new season.

As a form of thank-you to the Dutch club, Bayern will visit the Netherlands for a friendly against the freshly-crowned domestic champions. The Bundesliga club will not charge an appearance fee for the match, provisionally scheduled for summer 2010.

“We’re delighted to be bringing Lous van Gaal, a very experienced and successful coach, to FC Bayern Munich,“ FCB chairman Rummenigge commented after the talks in Alkmaar.