Van Gaal sacked as Man United manager?

Date published: Monday 23rd May 2016 11:10

Louis van Gaal has been sacked as Manchester United manager, according to widespread reports.

The Dutchman led United to their first piece of silverware since 2013 with victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on Saturday, but has paid the price for under-performance in the Premier League.

Despite spending over £250million since his appointment as manager in summer 2014, Van Gaal managed only a fifth-placed finish with United this season, missing out on Champions League qualification for the second time in three years.

The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Independent have all since reported that Van Gaal has been sacked as manager during a morning meeting at the club’s Carrington training ground.

It is understood that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward broke the news to the 64-year-old, with assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg, goalkeeper coach Frans Hoek and performance analyst Max Rekkers also leaving the club with immediate effect.

Is it time for United to dance with their devil? Jose Mourinho is holding talks with regards to replacing Van Gaal as manager on a three-year deal. Five players will dread his arrival; five others will relish it.

Van Gaal arrived at Manchester United’s training ground on Monday morning amid intense and enduring scrutiny about his future.

After a disappointing campaign in terms of style and substance at Old Trafford, a change appears imminent as Mourinho prepares for a return to management.

Before the celebrations had even subsided at Wembley on Saturday, United’s FA Cup win was being overshadowed by fresh reports that Van Gaal was to be replaced by the former Chelsea boss in the coming days.

United have steadfastly refused to comment on speculation regarding their managerial situation, while the Portuguese kept his counsel when asked about the job by Press Association Sport ahead of David Haye’s fight on Saturday evening.

Van Gaal stood firm when asked about his position in the post-match press conference at Wembley, but fuelled speculation on Sunday by telling a reporter outside the team hotel that “it’s over”.

The brevity of the comment meant it was not immediately clear whether that meant the former Holland manager had been told his time at United was at an end, although his situation could soon become clearer.

Van Gaal arrived at United’s Aon Training Complex at around 8.45am on Monday, his Mercedes sweeping into the Carrington training ground.

Van Gaal was followed into United’s training ground by employment lawyer Paul Gilroy QC, who has long worked with the League Managers Association.

Having initially been turned away by security, he was allowed into the complex around an hour after the Dutchman arrived.

Gilroy lists former United manager David Moyes among the clients he has advised, along with Alex Ferguson, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.

Chambers and Partners describe Gilroy as “a noted employment specialist” who is “renowned for getting a fantastic deal for managers”.

Two years ago predecessor Moyes attended a morning meeting with executive vice-chairman Woodward at the club’s training complex and a statement confirming the Scot’s sacking followed shortly afterwards, just 10 months into a six-year deal to replace Ferguson.

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