Van Gaal convinced he will be Man Utd boss next season

Sunday World back page
Sunday World back page

Louis van Gaal is convinced he will still be in charge of Manchester United for a third season, after revealing he is playing a pivotal role in organising the club’s plans for their summer trip to China.

Van Gaal is widely expected to be replaced by Jose Mourinho this summer, with his assistant Ryan Giggs also believed to be a contender to succeed Van Gaal if he fails to secure a top four finish for United in the final few weeks of what has been a troubled campaign.

The omission of any images of Van Gaal as United released a promotional video for their pre-season trip to China fuelled the belief that the veteran tactician would be out of a job by the time his players board the plane for their Far East trip in July.

Yet while his critics have long since concluded his days as United boss are numbered, Van Gaal believes he still has the full backing of the United board as he has talked about his initial plans for this summer.

“Every step that has been made (for the pre-season tour), I was there and I have to decide and that is why we’re only going for eight days – more or less six days,” said Van Gaal.

I have made it very short and within eight days we are back again and then we have to train. So it’s again not a very good preparation because of that.

“We have the European Championships then we have to go to China and then there is jet lag. It’s very difficult preparation.

“Then we have to establish also a fixture for the testimo­nial of Wayne Rooney.

“I want to do that but I can’t do that because I don’t know if we play Europa League or Champions League. It’s very, very difficult preparation again.”

Van Gaal insists he continues to be fully consulted by United chiefs on their plans for next season, with comments from director Alex Ferguson and club ambassadors Bryan Robson and Dwight Yorke in recent days suggesting Mourinho is not about to arrive at United.

All that could change if he fails to guide United back into the Champions League for next season, with their clash against Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday the latest test of their top four credentials.