Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reacted to incessant speculation over his future by storming out of his scheduled press conference after just five minutes on Wednesday. Van Gaal’s side have lost their last three matches and not won in their last six games, leading to strong rumors in recent days that the Dutch coach was clinging to his job. Reports on Tuesday even claimed that the Manchester United board were meeting to discuss his future, with recently dismissed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said to have been lined up as a replacement.
Meeting with the media ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Stoke City on Saturday, Van Gaal started out by requesting an apology.
“Has anybody in this room not a feeling to apologize to me?” he said. “'I think I was already sacked, I have read. “I have been sacked. My colleague [Mourinho] was here already. What do you think happens with my wife or with my kids or with my grandchildren or with the fans of Manchester United or my friends. What do you think? They have called me a lot of times, and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about this. Do you think that I want to talk to the media now? I am here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you.”
Van Gaal went onto add that he had held discussions with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, and directors Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill.
“You have to stick by the facts and when I get calls from Ed Woodward, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, because you are creating something that is not good, that is not being the facts, and now I have to answer questions. I don't think I want to do it.”
It has been widely stated that Van Gaal will be given the hectic Christmas period to turn the team’s fortunes around and save his job. After visiting Stoke, Manchester United will host Chelsea on Monday and Swansea City next Saturday.
The sudden availability of Mourinho is thought to have increased the tetchiness at Old Trafford about the club’s recent form, which has seen them knocked out of the Champions League and slip to fifth place in the Premier League table. However, on Tuesday, Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes denied that the Portuguese had been offered the job.