He has a blue chip CV but has been out of work since being sacked as Bayern Munich manager in April 2011, but enjoyed success earlier in his managerial career with Ajax, Barcelona and AZ Alkmaar.
However, his stint as a technical director on his return to Ajax in 2003 was brief after he resigned due to a conflict with head coach Ronald Koeman. He also saw attempts to become Ajax’s chief executive thwarted earlier this year following a legal challenge led by Holland legend Johan Cruyff, who had not been consulted over van Gaal’s intended appointment.
Van Gaal will fit into Liverpool's owners approach for an experienced sporting director to work alongside a younger manager, with Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Martinez still heading Liverpool’s shortlist.
He is the second major appointment of the week with American Billy Hogan heading across the Atlantic from Fen Sporting Group's Boston HQ to become Commercial Director.