Louis van Gaal "offers to resign" as Man Utd manager
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal offered his resignation following last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat against Southampton, according to widespread reports.
Van Gaal was visibly shocked and apologised to the club's supporters after the latest dire performance at Old Trafford, which drew the most vocal criticism yet from United fans.
"I’m very disappointed that I cannot reach the expectations of the fans," stated Van Gaal after the game, in comments that many viewed as an admission that his time as United manager was up.
“They have - or they had - great expectations of me, and I cannot fulfil them, so I am very frustrated because of that.
“You have to play football to entertain the fans. I don’t think we have entertained the fans, so they can be very angry."
Now several UK newspapers including The Sun and The Guardian are leading with the story that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward talked Van Gaal out of quitting last weekend, in a move that will be reviewed in the coming days.
Woodward held talks with senior United players on Monday as he pondered United's next move, with training cancelled on Sunday and Monday as Van Gaal attended his daughter's birthday celebrations in Holland.
Further talks are planned in the coming days, with United unsure whether Van Gaal will have changed his stance in deciding the time has come for him to walk away.
Woodward is said to remain firmly behind Van Gaal remaining in charge at United until the end of this season, when the 64-year-old will almost certainly bring forward his retirement plans by a year.
However, it remains to be seen whether he has the stomach to continue to fight at United, with an increasing majority of the club's supporters clearly keen for him to go now.