Louis van Gaal was sacked as Manchester United boss because his side played poor quality football this season. The Red Devils scored just 49 league goals and were criticised for the lack of attacking play as they finished fifth in the Premier League table. Dutchman Van Gaal, 64, said he was “very disappointed” to leave, but added “the foundations are firmly in place” to “achieve even greater success”. Jose Mourinho is expected to be named as his successor this week.
The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss is due to hold talks with senior Manchester United officials on Tuesday. It was speculated that Saturday’s FA Cup win over Crystal Palace would be Van Gaal’s last game as Manchester United boss. Old Trafford club finished fourth and fifth in the Premier League in his two seasons in charge, missing out on Champions League qualification this term to Manchester City.
In a statement confirming Van Gaal’s sacking on Monday night, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward praised the Dutchman’s “great professionalism and dignity” and thanked him for his “excellent work”. Manchester United added a decision on a successor “will be announced soon”, with Mourinho, 53, and agent Jorge Mendes expected to be in Manchester for talks with senior club officials on Tuesday.
Assistant manager and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has been made an offer to stay but it is not yet known what role that is and whether he will accept. Assistant coaches Max Reckers, Frans Hoek and Albert Stuivenberg have left the club. Van Gaal spent more than £250m during his time at Old Trafford, acquiring players including Angel di Maria, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay.
The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss also gave debuts to 14 academy graduates during his spell as manager at Manchester United. They included winger Jesse Lingard, who scored the winner in Saturday’s FA Cup final, and striker Marcus Rashford, who has netted eight goals since making his debut in February. “He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage,” said Woodward.