Some Manchester United officials were hoping Louis van Gaal would resign following last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Norwich City and are reluctant to fire the Dutch coach before the forthcoming Premier League fixtures against Stoke City and Chelsea.
This is according to ESPN, who have been told by sources that United officials want to stand by their word “and give him the chance to meet the effective ultimatum he was set”.
It’s understood that defeat at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day, or a loss at Old Trafford against Chelsea two days later, will result in Van Gaal’s dismissal - 18 months into his three-year contract.
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United are mindful of the likelihood this could well be Van Gaal’s final job in management - the 64-year-old has planned to retire in the summer of 2017 - and are keen not to end his managerial career in “unnecessarily sour or unfair fashion” by sacking him now.
The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach looked disheartened and downbeat in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon and walked out after less than five minutes following his request for an apology from the media.
United are without a win in five matches and it’s difficult to see them beating a Stoke City side who played Manchester City off the pitch at the Britannia Stadium three weeks ago.
Mourinho or Giggs?
If Van Gaal is sacked after that match, which seems a distinct possibility, then there’s a chance Manchester United will offer Jose Mourinho the manager’s job at Old Trafford.
There’s also a possibility that Ryan Giggs, Van Gaal’s assistant, would be offered the job until the end of the season.
Guardiola is off to Man City
However, it seems United’s chances of luring Pep Guardiola have significantly diminished over recent hours. German newspaper Kicker understand the Bayern Munich head coach has agreed to join Manchester City next season.
Manchester United fans: would it have been fairer to put Louis van Gaal out his misery after the defeat to Norwich - or can he turn things around? Have your say by leaving a comment below.