Burnley 'in talks' with Man Utd legend over vacant manager job

  • Burnley are searching for a permanent Vincent Kompany replacement
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy reported to be close agreeing multi-year contract
  • Frank Lampard & Scott Parker also spoken to by manager-less Clarets
Ruud van Nistelrooy could be returning to the Premier League
Ruud van Nistelrooy could be returning to the Premier League / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Burnley could hand Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy a route back into management as they seek to replace Vincent Kompany after he was poached by Bayern Munich.

Van Nistelrooy has been out of work for the past year after leaving PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2023, citing a lack of support. He had won the Dutch Cup for the club, while the bulk of his squad then went on to beat Arne Slot's Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title this past season.

BBC Sport has reported that Burnley, who haven’t lacked ambition making Kompany their first-ever overseas manager, have held talks with Van Nistelrooy. There has also been contact with Frank Lampard and Scott Parker, both of whom have Premier League experience but are out of work, but Van Nistelrooy is rumoured to be close to agreeing a "multi-year contract" at Turf Moor.

The 47-year-old former striker has previously managed Jong PSV, as well as the club's Under-19 squad, interspersed with a couple of spells as an assistant in the Netherlands national team setup.

Van Nistelrooy retired as a player in 2012 after short spells with Hamburg and Malaga. He first made his name in the late 1990s with PSV, scoring 77 goals in 90 appearances, and was close to joining Manchester United for £18.5m in the summer of 2000 until injury concerns saw the deal postponed and ultimately cancelled. The very next day, the striker suffered an ACL rupture.

But the deal was resurrected a year later, leading to Van Nistelrooy becoming one of the greatest goalscorers in Premier League history, and arguably an underrated figure in Old Trafford lore.

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 Man Utd games / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

He netted twice on his Premier League debut in 2001 and went on to score 36 times across all competitions in his debut season, plundering a further 44 in his second. Over five years, including long-term injury during the 2004/05 campaign, Van Nistelrooy averaged 30 goals per season in a United shirt, before asking to leaving in 2006 and joining Real Madrid.

In Spain, Van Nistelrooy was La Liga's top scorer straight off the bat in 2006/07 as Madrid won the title, but a combination of age and injuries saw his goal numbers quickly tail off.

He played at Turf Moor once during his career, starting for Manchester United in a League Cup tie in December 2002. Diego Forlan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who replaced the Dutchman at half-time, scored the goals in a 2-0 win for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.