Louis van Gaal has reportedly been informed by the Manchester United hierarchy that he must deliver the Premier League title next season if another enormous transfer outlay is to be made in the summer window.
Manchester United spent £150 million on the acquisition of new players following Van Gaal’s arrival at Old Trafford and it should be enough for them to ensure a place in the Champions League next term.
However, according to The Mirror, the club will demand that Van Gaal makes them domestic champions in his second term with a potential further £200 million to be spent this summer on yet more recruits.
It is claimed that Van Gaal had initially been told that he would be expected to land the title during his maiden campaign, only for ambitions to be reined in after the Dutchman had spoken at length to Ed Woodward.
But with a team now constructed in his image, and further reinforcements to be made, a place in the top four will not be enough, and it would seem fair that the Manchester United board would make such an ultimatum after their enormous investment.
However, more pressing for Van Gaal is to ensure his side do indeed finish this term in the coveted top four positions after a sudden downturn in form made less certain what had appeared a forgone conclusion.
Defeat to West Brom on Saturday was a third in succession - the first time this has happened in 14 years - and Manchester United after now four points clear of fifth placed Liverpool with three games of the season remaining.