Louis van Gaal is ready to consider his Manchester United future at the end of the season and there is a possibility that he could announce his retirement with one year remaining on his contract.
The Dutch coach, 64, has had to endure the full force of the British press this season and, at one stage, had looked almost certain to leave Old Trafford. United had gone on an eight-game winless run and had also crashed out of the Champions League.
At the height of speculation, he had mentioned the possibility of leaving on his own terms, citing the negative effect it was having on his family life. But despite an upturn in results, including a 1-0 win over Liverpool, stress levels in the Van Gaal household remain high.
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According to the Daily Mirror, those closest to him are concerned that the strain of managing one of the world's biggest clubs is taking its toll on old Louis. They believe there is a distinct possibility of him leaving when the current season concludes, regardless of how many trophies they win.
Van Gaal had claimed that the Red Devils still had a say in the title race after Sunday's win at Anfield, which moved them to within seven points of leaders Arsenal. But it remains highly unlikely and a top-four finish remains the priority for the time being.
Mourinho still waiting
His potential departure will hand Jose Mourinho the opportunity he has supposedly been waiting a number of years for. The Portuguese coach can use Jorge Mendes' close links to Old Trafford executives to shoehorn his way in there should the hot seat be vacated.
Although Ryan Giggs has been tipped to succeed Van Gaal, an unexpected exit this summer will come too soon for the 42-year-old. He is unlikely to get the nod to take charge of United during what could be a crucial period of investment over the summer.
Ed Woodward will be looking to bring a marquee name to the club and he will know the pulling power Mourinho will hold over the world's biggest stars.
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