Manchester United risk losing out on Brazilian attacking winger Felipe Anderson if Louis van Gaal is sacked before the transfer window re-opens.
This is according to The Times, who understand that Van Gaal is keen to bring the 22-year-old to Old Trafford as early as next month.
However, United’s proposed move for the Lazio star is likely to stall - or potentially collapse completely - if Jose Mourinho, or another coach, replaces Van Gaal over the forthcoming weeks.
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It’s understood that Van Gaal, who walked out of his pre-match press conference after less than five minutes on Wednesday afternoon, is likely to be sacked if he loses to Stoke City on Boxing Day or Chelsea at Old Trafford two days later.
The Red Devils are without a win in five matches and speculation is rife that United will turn to Mourinho if Van Gaal suffers another damaging defeat over the next few days.
Bayern Munich and Chelsea are also interested
Anderson, who has been capped once by Brazil, has been watched by United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea over the past two seasons and has the potential to become one of Europe’s best players.
Blessed with lightning-quick pace, two good feet and the ability to drift past defenders in one-on-one situations, the former Santos star - who contributed to 17 goals in 23 league starts for Lazio last term - could be an excellent addition to the Manchester United squad.
However, based on Van Gaal’s track record in the transfer market since arriving at Old Trafford - combined with the apparent lack of freedom he gives players to express themselves out on the pitch - perhaps United fans shouldn’t get too excited if the Brazilian does arrive next month and the Dutch coach remains in charge.
Manchester United fans: would you rather Anderson signed and Van Gaal stayed, or Anderson moved elsewhere and Van Gaal left? Have your say by leaving a comment below.