United hand ex-boss £5m compensation as they axe his Dutch coaching staff with Mourinho waiting in wings
Manchester United has sacked Louis van Gaal just two days after the Dutchman led them to victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.
Van Gaal, who has been given a £5million pay-off on top of £400,000 for winning the FA Cup, has been made to pay for United’s poor Premier League campaign and will be replaced by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
His Dutch coaching staff – including united assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg and goalkeeper coach Frans Hoek – have also left the club with immediate effect.
Ed Woodward arrived at Manchester United’s Carrington training complex ahead of talks with Van Gaal on Monday morning.
The United executive vice-chairman informed Van Gaal he will no longer continue as manager as they look to appoint Mourinho as his successor.
Van Gaal arrived at Carrington at around 8.45am. His entire coaching staff was also present as they learned their fate.
Mourinho expects to have more talks on Tuesday ahead of signing a three-year deal with his long-term assistant Rui Faria and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro expected to follow.
Ryan Giggs’ future at United is up in the air despite Mourinho’s wish to keep the Welshman at the club.
Van Gaal’s trusted performance analyst Max Reckers, who caused friction within the Manchester United family, has also been shown the Old Trafford exit door.
Employment lawyer Paul Gilroy QC, who has long worked with the League Managers Association, followed Van Gaal into United’s training ground.
Having initially been turned away by security, he was allowed into the complex around an hour after the Dutchman arrived.
Gilroy lists former united manager David Moyes among the clients he has advised, along with Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.
Chambers and Partners describe Gilroy as ‘a noted employment specialist’ who is ‘renowned for getting a fantastic deal for managers’.
Wembley on Saturday, United’s FA Cup win was being overshadowed by fresh reports that Van Gaal was to be replaced by the former Chelsea boss in the coming days.
United have steadfastly refused to comment on speculation regarding their managerial situation, while the Portuguese kept his counsel when asked about the job ahead of David Haye’s fight on Saturday evening.
Van Gaal stood firm when asked about his position in the post-match press conference at Wembley, but fuelled speculation on Sunday by telling a reporter outside the team hotel that ‘it’s over’.
The brevity of the comment meant it was not immediately clear whether that meant the former Holland manager had been told his time at United was at an end.
Two years ago predecessor Moyes attended a morning meeting with Woodward at the club’s training complex and a statement confirming the Scot’s sacking followed shortly afterwards, just 10 months into a six-year deal to replace Ferguson.
Van Gaal still has a season remaining on his three-year contract, while Mourinho has been out of work since paying for Chelsea’s abysmal title defence with his job in December.
The Portuguese has repeatedly spoken of his plans to return to work this summer, and reviving United’s fortunes would surely be a mouth-watering proposition for the self-styled ‘Special One’.
United, a club synonymous with a swashbuckling, attacking style, managed a paltry 49 league goals – their lowest return for 26 years – and missed out on Champions League qualification to neighbours Manchester City on goal difference.
A first FA Cup win since 2004 was a welcome boost, but captain Wayne Rooney admitted the campaign was far from good enough.
‘He has been under pressure. I think we all have,’ Rooney said of Van Gaal.
‘That’s part of playing for Manchester United and managing Manchester United – it is a massive club.
‘You have to set standards and we fell below them this season.
But we have to make sure as players we get back to those standards and make sure we are back challenging for the main trophies.’
Success is something former united midfielder and Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins is backing Mourinho to bring back to Old Trafford.
‘I think it is the right move,’ he told reporters. ‘It is the only move for them. He will get them playing again and he will get them winning again.
‘He is a winner – there is no two ways about it. When he goes to a club, normally he wins a big trophy within the first couple of years.’