English footballing giants, Manchester United could be in the hunt for a new manager in the near future as new reports emerge suggesting that the current manager, Louis van Gaal, is still considering the possibility of quitting the club.
Fresh reports emerged on Tuesday claiming that the manager’s family is worried about the pressure he is constantly under at Manchester United and that he may be assessing whether or not to cut his current contract short a year earlier before expiration.
According to sources in Holland quoted by David McDonnel of the Daily Mirror, “the Dutchman’s family have become increasingly concerned at the heavy toll leading the Old Trafford giants is taking on the 64-year-old.”
Louis van Gaal endured one of his worst periods in his managerial career last month when he collected just two points from 18 on offer in the league. He also witnessed Manchester United get eliminated from UEFA’s elite club competition, the Champions League.
During the same month, the Manchester United manager’s former assistant during his time at Barcelona, Jose Mourinho, was sacked by his employers at Chelsea FC. This led to media speculation that he was set to take over from LvG at Manchester United.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) January 20, 2016
Louis van Gaal indicated last month that he was ready to quit Manchester United on his own terms and that he was not afraid of being sacked. He has always maintained that, if he felt at any moment that he lost the dressing room, he would quit.
Manchester United’s dismal spell over the last two months, which saw them register just three wins in 13 matches in all competitions was hugely expected to mark the end of LvG’s reign at the club. However, the Manchester United board stuck with him.
While Manchester United have yet to come out publicly backing Louis van Gaal’s stay at the club, they have shown great faith in him than they did with his predecessor, David Moyes. That’s partly because of his past achievements and the ability to build new teams. Manchester United are currently in a transition and he appears to be the right fit at the right time.
Sports analysts credit the manager with building what is now viewed as the backbones of both the Bayern Munich and Barcelona teams, but in both clubs, he was sacked after a period of dismal results, twice at Barcelona.
If Louis van Gaal does leave Manchester United before the end of his current contract, which expires in 2017, as widely reported, it would be the first time he has done that in his career. The last time he left a club before the end of his contract in his own terms was in the summer of 1997 when he left Ajax to join Barcelona.
The Manchester United manager has a reputation of colliding with the media just before getting sacked by his employers. In his last pre-match press conference last year, Louis van Gaal walked out of the Manchester United press room after answering just three questions when he criticized the media for disrespecting him.
— Jonathan Simms (@JonathanSSimms) December 23, 2015
Louis van Gaal was angered by the continuous claims in the media that he was to be sacked by the end of December 2015 and to be replaced by Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. “So you think that I want to talk with the media now. I am here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you. But I can only see when I say something that you use my words in your context,” van Gaal said during the short press conference.
Barely a month later, reports about van Gaal’s departure from Manchester United are back. However, this time, the suggestion is that he will be walking away on his own terms and it will probably be in the summer after the conclusion of the current season.
Manchester United has the tradition of giving managers time to turn around things at the club. Even during Sir Alex Ferguson’s early years at the club, Manchester United did struggle to perform well, but the board gave him enough time to change things. Louis van Gaal’s contract at Manchester United ends in 2017, which means he does not have the same time as did Sir Alex Ferguson. In any case, Manchester United appear to be preparing club legend Ryan Giggs for the long term job.
However, with the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and possibly Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid available in the summer, it would be interesting to see who Manchester United appoint as the successor to LvG if he does decide to quit the club.
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