Manchester United’s inevitable Premier League fate was confirmed on Wednesday night as they beat Bournemouth 3-1 at Old Trafford but failed to claim a Champions League place.
The Red Devils needed to win 19-0 on the final day to mathematically finish above rivals Manchester City but realistically, that was never going to happen.
Europa League football - and an FA Cup final - now awaits them, with pressure mounting on Louis van Gaal.
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The Dutchman was booed during his end-of-season speech on Tuesday night, with fans making clear their discontent.
And now, Van Gaal has once again commented on his future amidst rumours Jose Mourinho could replace him at the Theatre of Dreams.
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Asked if he will remain, according to the Mirror, he said bluntly: “Yes, because I’ve signed a three-year contract.”
Van Gaal also regards finishing fifth as a disappointment.
“Of course,” he continued, “because our aim the first year, also the second year and also the third year shall be the Champions League, a higher level.
“A club like Manchester United has to play at a higher level. But there are more clubs who want to play in the Champions League as we have seen.”
The 64-year-old, however, believes luck has worked against his side this season.
“You could say also that one penalty in a certain game has been very important also.
“Tonight we didn’t receive a penalty and in the game against Leicester, we didn’t receive two penalties and afterwards the FA confirmed that it was a penalty.
"It’s like that and that’s football. You need luck and I can’t say we had a lot of luck this season.
“That is not the only reason and we didn’t create too much because defensively we are one of the best teams in the Premier League. But attacking wise, we have to improve.”
And improve they must, with the signing of Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic the perfect way to do so.
The Sweden international will become a free agent this summer when his contract expires, and according to reports, United have offered him a one-year deal to join.
Ibrahimovic’s agent has since quashed rumours that his client has received a formal offer yet there’s little doubt that if the Red Devils want to improve their attacking line, they must do everything in their power to sign the 34-year-old.
Arsenal, AC Milan and a host of other European giants are also said to be interested.
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