Louis van Gaal lashes out at persistent Jose Mourinho rumours
Louis van Gaal has declared that the constant speculation over his future at Manchester United is "an absolute scandal" as he lashed out at suggestions that Jose Mourinho has agreed a deal to replace him.
The United manager has been relatively restrained in his response to persistent claims that he is about to be sacked and replaced by Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Yet he let his guard down after his side's 5-1 Europa League win against FC Midtjylland, as he offered up these explosive words to Dutch TV channel RTL7.
"I think what is happening is an absolute scandal," declared Van Gaal.
"Every day I am preventing the players from being under pressure. Because every arrow is shot at me, not one at the players.
“It is all aimed at me. In a bizarre way this situation with me has an advantage for the players. I can see that they are not being criticized. Only me.’’
An evidently irate Van Gaal went on to hit out at suggestions that his old colleague Mourinho has been in talks with United officials with a view to taking over at Old Trafford next summer.
Van Gaal and Mourinho worked together at Barcelona and remain firm friends, with the United boss insisting he did not need his colleague to contact him over the reports.
“He has said things a number of times with a lot of words, but he does not have to tell me anything. I find the whole thing ridiculous," he said of Mourinho.
“I don’t want United to do something either. I don’t even want them to react to things which I read in the media or which are being created.
"We, the club and I, are not going to help the media right now by denying things."
United chiefs have refused to deny that they have had contact with Mourinho's advisers, but initial suggestions that the former Chelsea boss has agreed a deal to replace Van Gaal appear to have been wide of the mark.
sundayworld.com have been told that there remains a deep divide among Old Trafford board members over the prospect of Mourinho being handed the keys of power at the club.
Van Gaal's next big test will come when his injury-hit United side take on Premier League title contenders Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.