Werder Bremen have played down reports they are interested in former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

Rock-bottom Bremen are seeking a new coach following the dismissal of Viktor Skripnik, and Hamburger Abendblatt had reported on Thursday that ex-Bayern Munich coach Van Gaal, 65, was a leading contender for the post.

However, the club’s sporting director Frank Baumann suggested that was not the case when asked about the rumours, telling reporters: “I won’t comment on any names, no matter how crazy the rumours are.”

Bremen sacked Skripnik on Sunday after a dismal start to their 2016-17 campaign that saw them lose their first three Bundesliga games as well as exiting the DFB Pokal.

Interim coach Alexander Nouri was not able to turn the club’s fortunes around on Wednesday when they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Mainz after leading until the 86th minute.

Bremen have been linked with a number of names including United States assistant coach Andreas Herzog as well as Markus Gisdol, who has been without a job since his sacking at Hoffenheim in October 2015.

Bremen host neighbours Wolfsburg on Saturday, with 37-year-old Nouri expected to remain in charge for that game.

“We are not hard-pressed for time,” Baumann said. “That’s what our performance against Mainz showed.”

Baumann also confirmed that Nouri will return to his role in charge of the club’s under-23 side once the new manager is appointed.

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