Belfast Telegraph

Louis van Gaal: Secret United talks with Jose Mourinho would be 'disappointing'

Louis van Gaal admits he will be "disappointed" if Manchester United have spoken to Jose Mourinho behind his back.

United have failed to deny reports they have spoken to Mourinho in recent weeks following their team's slump.

The former Chelsea boss has made it known he would be interested in replacing Van Gaal if he is sacked either now or at the end of the season.

The United manager concedes it is plausible the club have made contact with Mourinho, but he is hoping that is not the case.

"Then I shall be disappointed (if contact has been made)," the United manager said.

"Because that is the consequence of what I have said. In a football world that is possible, I know, but I do not think that.

"I have a relationship with Ed (Woodward) and the Glazers, they (would) tell me I think."

Van Gaal insisted he felt no need to ask Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, or other board members, whether contact had been made between the two parties.

"I don't think that I have to (ask) them, no," the 64-year-old said.

Van Gaal insists he has no problem with United's failure to back him publicly.

Unlike when David Moyes was under pressure, United have failed to intimate that Van Gaal has their backing.

Some have taken that as a sign that Van Gaal has lost the faith of the board and they are considering replacing him with Mourinho.

But Van Gaal says he does not mind that the club have not made a statement backing him.

''I am not agreeing with that,'' the Dutchman said when asked if it would be better for the club to say something on the matter.

''Because I have said many times that not all the media, but a lot of media, is inventing stories and you don't have to answer on invented stories.

''I agree with this policy of the club.''

Van Gaal is in the dark over whether any failure to qualify for the Champions League will cost him his job, however.

''That is not a question for me, it's a question for the board of Manchester United, you have to put it to them," Van Gaal added.

''I have a contract for three years and you know that.''

A winless run of eight matches towards the end of the year left Van Gaal's position under scrutiny.

United's form has improved since the start of the year, however. The Red Devils have lost just once in 2016 and sit fourth in the form table.

Van Gaal agreed with the suggestion that a fourth-placed finish would be regarded as a "good" season.

"I think so, but that analysis has to be made by the board and maybe also by the media," he said

"I think that you have to always look at the circumstances, how you have to work, and I think this board is doing that."

Van Gaal maintained that all the pessimism surrounding United could be reversed if his team went on a run over the next few weeks and bridged the six-point gap that separates them from fourth.

"In two games you can be level with your competitor," he said.

"That is the benefit of this system of three points."

A win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday would certainly help matters, particularly as the top four are all playing on Sunday.

Van Gaal plans to enjoy Valentine's Day with his wife Truus regardless of the result or those of his rivals.

"I will give my players a day off (on Sunday), so they can spoil their woman and I am spoiling my woman every day," he added with a chuckle.

"We are doing something special but I don't tell. It is very private."

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is expected to continue at left-back following his recent impressive form.

The 19-year-old has performed well since being promoted from the academy and looks set to earn a new deal.

Van Gaal said: "We are dealing with that (a new contract) of course but you have to wait for an announcement from the club."


From Belfast Telegraph