Louis van Gaal in jovial mood against Arsenal..

Manchester United players expect Louis van Gaal to stay until the summer

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Senior Manchester United players are convinced that Louis van Gaal will be in charge of the club until at least the end of the season, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The Dutchman's time at Old Trafford appeared to be coming to a premature end after a shock 2-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland in the Europa League, but a good week saw the Red Devils overcome that deficit, reach the FA Cup quarter-finals and beat Arsenal in the Premier League.

They beat Shrewsbury 3-0 in the FA Cup, thrashed Midtjylland 5-1 at Old Trafford before overcoming the Gunners in an exciting 3-2 encounter. The emergence of Marcus Rashford, who scored four of their 11 goals last week, has also helped to get the fans back on board.

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The results stood as proof that Van Gaal has still got the backing of the dressing room and, regardless of what is being said about Jose Mourinho, he is likely to be at the club for the remainder of the campaign. After that, however, anything could happen.

While Ed Woodward has done well to stick by Van Gaal, it seems inevitable that he will be sacked if Manchester United do not qualify for next season's Champions League. They sit just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and seven below Arsenal.

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Far from perfect

Their best chances of qualification appear to be via the Europa League with the winners gaining automatic entry. However, they must first beat Liverpool over two legs and could then face the prospect of Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham or Napoli, all of whom remain in contention.

Things are far from ideal at United's Carrington training complex but it is believed that a number of players still enjoy playing under Van Gaal, who relaxed his strict regime after talks with Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.


Mourinho's arrival

While Mourinho has no firm agreement with Manchester United, it is believed that his representatives have a gentleman's agreement in place. That agreement dictates that the Portuguese will land the role if Van Gaal is sacked.

Van Gaal's stay of execution will suit the former Chelsea manager, who recently admitted he would prefer to start a new job at the start of next season.

"Starting next season with a new club is the best thing for me," Mourinho said during a recent trip to Singapore.

Talks with Mourinho has divided the Manchester United boardroom with reservations held by both Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton. However, Ferguson, who helped select David Moyes as his own successor, retains an ambassador role and won't have a say in the final decision.

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Manchester United
Premier League
Louis van Gaal
Wayne Rooney
Jose Mourinho

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