An FA Cup final might await them this Saturday, but victory over Crystal Palace will do little more than paper over the crackers at Manchester United.
The Red Devils secured all three points against Bournemouth on Tuesday night yet that wasn’t enough to pip rivals Manchester City into the fourth and final Champions League spot.
Europa League football now beckons following yet another underwhelming campaign, with serious questions now being asked of manager Louis van Gaal.
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The Dutchman has bore the brunt of much criticism this season and appears to have lost the faith of United’s devoted fan base - and some of the players.
However, more serious worries have emerged regarding potential targets arriving at Old Trafford.
According to the Daily Mail, United chiefs fear Van Gaal could put off the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from joining this summer.
As a result, the 64-year-old’s pull factor will be a major consideration when the club’s board decide on his future over the next few weeks.
Missing out on Aubameyang would come as a huge blow to United amidst their burning to desire to add world-class talent to their lacklustre squad.
Furthermore, should the Gabon international indeed reject a move to Manchester because of Van Gaal, he would be the second big-name striker to do so after Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly admitted he would only join the Premier League giant if he leaves.
There was once a time when every European footballer dreamt of signing for the great Manchester United - but those days are gone.
To emphasise this point, the 20-time league champions lost out on Renato Sanches and Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich recently after being hot favourites to sign the former.
United’s pull factor is on the wane, so the last thing they need is a manager incapable of luring the very best because of his own flawed reputation.
However, in Van Gaal’s mind, he remains confident he will be manager next season.
When asked of his future following victory over Bournemouth, the former Bayern boss said: “Yes, because I’ve signed a three-year contract.”
He also revealed his disappointment at finishing fifth and outside of Europe’s elite competition.
“Of course,” he added, “because our aim the first year, also the second year and also the third year shall be the Champions League, a higher level.
“A club like Manchester United has to play at a higher level. But there are more clubs who want to play in the Champions League as we have seen.”
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