Football

Over and out? Manchester United are staying silent although manager Louis van Gaal said "it's over" on Sunday..

Man Utd maintain silence despite Louis van Gaal suggesting "it's over"

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Louis van Gaal declared "it's over" as Manchester United seemingly edge closer to appointing Jose Mourinho, just days after winning the FA Cup.

Saturday's 2-1 extra-time triumph against Crystal Palace offered little respite for the under-fire Dutchman, whose position came under fresh scrutiny before the celebrations at Wembley had subsided.

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Within minutes of United being presented with the trophy, reports emanated that former Chelsea manager Mourinho would be unveiled in the coming days.

United have steadfastly refused to comment on speculation regarding their managerial situation, while the Portuguese kept his counsel when asked about the job by Press Association Sport ahead of David Haye's fight on Saturday evening.

Van Gaal, too, stood firm when asked about his position in the post-match press conference at Wembley, but fuelled speculation with a remark on Sunday.

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When asked by a Sky Sports News reporter if he would stop to speak outside the team hotel, Van Gaal refused and said as he walked away: "It's over".

Considering the brevity of the comment, it was not immediately clear whether that meant the former Holland manager had been told his time at United was at an end.

Van Gaal still has a season remaining on his three-year deal, while Mourinho has been out of work since paying for Chelsea's abysmal title defence with his job in December.

The Portuguese has repeatedly spoken of his plans to return to work this summer, and reviving United's fortunes would surely be a mouth-watering proposition for the self-styled 'Special One'.

United, a club synonymous with a swashbuckling, attacking style, managed a paltry 49 league goals - their lowest return for 26 years - and missed out on Champions League qualification to neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.

A first FA Cup win since 2004 was a welcome boost but captain Wayne Rooney knows the campaign was far from good enough.

"He has been under pressure. I think we all have," Rooney said of Van Gaal.

"That's part of playing for Manchester United and managing Manchester United - it is a massive club.

"You have to set standards and we fell below them this season.

"But we have to make sure as players we get back to those standards and make sure we are back challenging for the main trophies."

Rooney also said the 64-year-old gave no indication about his future to the United players following their FA Cup victory.

"He hasn't spoken to us about it and I think it's unfair after we have just won the cup to speak about his future," he added.

If Mourinho does land the Old Trafford job, former United defender Phil Neville expects him to bring success - if not over a long period.

"I can't see him staying too long at Man United, maybe two or three years - that seems to be his shelf-life at a football club,'' Neville told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"When Jose finishes at a club it tends to be a pattern where he falls out with a few players, he gets disgruntled and the team dips.

"It happened at Chelsea, it certainly happened at Real Madrid where there were rumours he fell out with a few players.

"It's a pattern with Jose. He comes into a club, he gets success but he doesn't stay for too long."

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