Van Gaal: I will not walk away from Man United job
Louis van Gaal has forced Manchester United's board to make the final decision on his future by making clear that he will not resign.
The United manager, whose job is under threat after a run of only three wins in 13 matches, is continuing to insist that he can revive the club's fortunes. He made a speech to his players at their Christmas lunch on Monday calling for unity ahead of a key run of fixtures, beginning at Stoke on St Stephen's Day.
The former Netherlands coach declared over the weekend that he felt he still had the support of the players and the board, despite his team's poor form, and retains belief that he can save his job, even though the odds are against him.
With Van Gaal determined to fight on, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and club owners the Glazer family must decide whether to sack the manager, and face the prospect of a compensation payment of around £10m to terminate his contract.
The manager is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon to preview the trip to Stoke. He is set to lose his job if United lose either at the Britannia Stadium, or against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday.
United declined to comment on reports surfacing yesterday that Woodward was in a meeting in London to discuss the future of the manager, although the club's board are continuing to consider their options.
Jose Mourinho has made clear that he is keen to take charge if United do decide on a change, while Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola and United assistant boss Ryan Giggs are also in contention.
Mourinho, a free agent after being sacked by Chelsea last Thursday, remains the leading candidate if Van Gaal leaves, despite reservations from some United directors about his capacity to attract controversy.
However, his success in winning domestic titles in England, Spain, Italy and Portugal, in addition to lifting the Champions League title with Inter Milan in 2010, still makes him an attractive candidate for a club whose season is in danger of crumbling. (© Daily Telegraph, London)