It seems like the last person to know Louis van Gaal was about to be sacked as Manchester United manager was the Dutchman himself.
Van Gaal had been under pressure at Old Trafford for months but he valiantly attempted to save his job by leading his side to FA Cup glory.
However, with Jose Mourinho waiting in the wings, this wasn’t enough for the United chiefs who, less than 48 hours after the club lifted the trophy, sacked the manager.
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Van Gaal still had one more year left on his deal but it would have ben a surprise if he saw out the remainder of his three-year contract. Under his management, the Red Devils suffered two underwhelming campaigns and their style of football frustrated the supporters.
But, despite the constant reports, it seems that Van Gaal believed he would remain in charge of United next season.
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How it went down
That’s because the Daily Mail are reporting that the boss handed all of the players and staff at the club a programme detailing their plans for the summer just one day before he was sacked.
Immediately after Mark Clattenburg blew the final whistle at Wembley last weekend, news filtered through of Mourinho’s imminent arrival. But that didn’t stop the celebrations back at their London hotel.
In the morning, Van Gaal gathered all the staff together to give them an emotional speech and thank them for all their hard work this season. He also handed the staff and players schedules for the summer - he obviously didn’t realise he was about to be sacked.
The report states that it was Sunday afternoon that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward got in touch with the manager and asked to see him at his apartment. It was only then that the beleaguered boss was aware of his fate.
Van Gaal was then given the opportunity to take a flight out of the country on Monday evening before the club officially announced that he had been sacked.
In a way, Van Gaal's attitude towards his sacking epitomised his two years at the club.
After he had seen his side play poorly, he would often back his players and insist they had played well. That same blinkered attitude meant that he was unable to see his dismissal coming with him believing he was set another campaign at the Theatre of Dreams.
Players and staff will have no doubt torn up Van Gaal’s instructions for the summer with Mourinho set to be announced. The ’Special One’ was sacked from Chelsea back in December and has been linked with the United hotseat ever since.
As soon as the club sorts out issues regarding his image rights, Mourinho will be confirmed as their new manager and he will be handing out his own schedule to the players and staff for the summer.
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