Louis van Gaal arrived at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground on Monday morning and was soon joined by a League Managers Association (LMA) lawyer amid widespread reports he is set to leave the club.
Sources close to the deal told ESPN FC at the weekend that Jose Mourinho is set to replace Van Gaal this week despite the Dutchman winning the FA Cup on Saturday.
Van Gaal arrived at the club on Monday and LMA lawyer Paul Gilroy QC, an employment barrister who previously represented David Moyes, followed soon afterward.
The club have yet to comment on the situation, though, and Mourinho himself refused to confirm the reports when asked about the job by Press Association Sport ahead of David Haye’s fight on Saturday evening.
– David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) May 23, 2016
It had been suggested that Van Gaal had effectively confirmed his departure when he told Sky Sports News “it’s over” on Saturday, but United indicated to the Daily Mirror that he was referring to the season rather than his future.
De Telegraaf reported on Monday morning that Van Gaal and his coaching staff have been given no indication that any dismissals are imminent.
Goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek said in the Dutch newspaper that he is enjoying working with David De Gea and added: “I also have a contract for another year.”
Van Gaal was appointed on a three-year deal in 2014 but he has struggled to win over the supporters due to the team’s failure to regularly play attacking football, and The Guardian has claimed there has been similar opposition in the dressing room.
The report said there has been significant “disillusionment” among the players with Van Gaal’s management and that some have even discussed the prospect of defying his tactical instructions.
Van Gaal confirmed earlier this season that Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick had approached him over their concerns about the dressing-room atmosphere, although the coach said at the time it was a positive sign.
The Guardian said that Van Gaal afterwards “started sending the players individual emails detailing their faults and submitting video clips to highlight his dissatisfaction” but that many ignored his missives. The report claims he then started tracking the emails to ensure they were opened and for how long but still struggled to get his messages across.
The newspaper also repeated a claim from the Daily Telegraph last week that De Gea has been considering pressing for a transfer if Van Gaal remains in charge due a breakdown in their relationship.
However, The Guardian said that many members of the squad had hoped to see assistant manager Ryan Giggs promoted to the top job amid doubts as to whether Mourinho is suited to the club.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.