Louis van Gaal has sensationally suggested how he used to have “suspicions” of players being gay that he managed during his career.
The former Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax and Netherlands manager has made some astonishing claims in an interview with Dutch LGBT newspaper 'Gaykrant’.
The 68-year-old retired a year ago, having been replaced at Old Trafford by Jose Mourinho as recently as 2016.
Van Gaal felt sexuality remained a very taboo subject inside dressing rooms that he coached, even in the modern game.
And the Dutchman also said he would never advise a player to come out.
In his interview about homosexuality in football, Van Goal said: “I did often think that players were gay. I have had my suspicions with certain players.
“But if a player does not want to admit it, it is better that I don’t make his life harder.
“I won’t say at which club it was, but I worked with players who I thought were gay.
Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!
Sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
Put your email in the box at the top of this article or you can follow instructions on this link here.
“I want to protect those players. The majority of them are married to women and have kids. I can’t do that to them by revealing it.
“I used to ask (players) if they had a girlfriend. Only later I decided to ask if they have a partner.”
Van Goal then went on to generalise about how the type of footballer had links with their sexuality.
He continued: “I noticed in my career that it's the more creative players who are gay.
“And those kinds of players are more valuable in football.
“In other words, they are loved because of their football skills. You do understand what I mean, don’t you?
“I could be wrong here in all this, but not very often I am wrong in my life.”