Louis van Gaal will be sacked if Manchester United are beaten by Stoke City or Chelsea within the next seven days.
This is according to the Independent’s reliable chief football correspondent, Mark Ogden, who understands senior players at Old Trafford have grown tired of Van Gaal’s approach - both in terms of his philosophy, including tactics, and his obsession with critical post-match analysis in “evaluation” sessions.
Defeat against the Potters at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day could now spell the end for Van Gaal, whose position is under serious threat following a third consecutive defeat against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Even if he wins at Stoke, however, Van Gaal will still be fired if he loses at home to Chelsea two days later.
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The Dutchman, who cut a disheartened figure in his post-match press conference at the weekend, is now 1/6 on with some bookmakers in the next manager to leave his post markets.
The pressure on Van Gaal has increased significantly since Jose Mourinho, who reportedly wants the Manchester United job, was sacked by Chelsea last week.
As Paul Hayward of the Telegraph points out, United officials are effectively offering the players an opportunity to show whether or not they want Van Gaal or Mourinho.
Mourinho to take charge of Man United?
If they produce back-to-back committed performances - and get results - against Stoke and Chelsea within the next week then United should stick with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach.
But if they down tools then it’s not beyond the realms of possibility than Mourinho will be in charge of Manchester United’s Premier League clash against Swansea City on January 2.
Manchester United fans: should Louis van Gaal be sacked before the match against Stoke City on Boxing Day? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.