Van Gaal rubbishes claims Mourinho set to take over Manchester United

Mourinho has never been more confident of becoming the Reds' next manager but Van Gaal says it is not true

Louis van Gaal has rubbished claims that there have been talks between Manchester United and Jose Mourinho and believes he is on course to completely overhaul the squad he inherited upon arrival at Old Trafford.

With news of Pep Guardiola's future appointment as the manager of Manchester City, reports emerged that Mourinho was as confident as ever of becoming the manager of Manchester United. The club were reported to have been in talks with Mourinho, or at least, representatives of the former Chelsea manager in relation to taking over at the club at the end of the season. Van Gaal, however, denies any such reports and believes the invention of stories is hurtful for his family. 

“The last two months have been very difficult for my wife, my kids, my grandchildren and my friends to cope with,” the United manager said. “For me too, but I can cope. In the Netherlands they know I am too arrogant to doubt myself, but I also know that such a nonsense is being created about me. I do not believe that there is already a relationship between José Mourinho and Manchester United.”

Van Gaal has struggled in his second year as the manager of Manchester United but wins over Derby County in the FA Cup and Stoke in the Premier League combined with some attractive performances in these games has given the Dutch man a respite from the relentless questions surrounding his future. They still linger, however, and the reports of Mourinho will not help with his job security and the continued speculation.

That might still be the case but Van Gaal is confident of the work he is doing at the club and believes the make up of the current squad is incomparable with the one present when he took over.

“If you look at the selection now to the one I took over there is no comparison. When I came in there were eight or 10 players over the age of 30. I had to move some out, and people said I was wrong, but in the last 18 months players like Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have retired. They are not playing football any more.”