Manchester United bosses have told Louis van Gaal that they will not hand him a new contract unless he proves his worth.
The Daily Star's chief sports writer, Jeremy Cross, claims that Van Gaal is ready to stay at Old Trafford beyond his current deal, which is due to expire in 2017, and delay his retirement plans.
But the powers that be have told the Dutchman that they will not be handing him a contract extension without good reason.
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They have, therefore, decided to hold off talks until the end of the current season, and will evaluate both Van Gaal's and the team's performance.
A United source told Cross: "The manager is enjoying the challenge at the club and is willing to extend his deal to delay his retirement from the game.
"But the fact is he still has to convince bosses he is worth a contract extension. He won't be handed one on a plate and it is almost as if he is on trial."
Teetering on the edge
With Manchester United sitting in second place in the Premier League table, fans of the Old Trafford outfit could be forgiven for getting optimistic about their title chances.
But beneath the surface, there remains some doubt over Van Gaal's ability to man-manage his ever-changing team.
A special report in the Times claimed several senior players had confronted the Dutchman over his suppressive tactics, hinting that the players are not entirely happy working under him.
Van Gaal also has the shadow of Pep Guardiola hanging over him. Reports in Germany have long suggested that all is not well in Bavaria and Manchester United would surely jump at the chance to sign him up, even if it is at Van Gaal's expense.