The £10million question - Why it might not be a good idea for Manchester United to sack Van Gaal
Manchester United will face an initial estimated bill of around £10m to remove Louis van Gaal as the club’s manager - with the whole process of executing his departure liable to cost double that total.
While United have denied that they rejected Van Gaal’s resignation following last Saturday’s home defeat against Southampton, the pressure on the 64-year-old Dutchman has never been higher.
His recent comments suggesting he “cannot meet the expectations of the fans” was viewed by many as evidence that Van Gaal is ready to start his retirement early, yet United seem to be determined to keep him in place until the end of this season at least.
Van Gaal’s current United contract will run until the summer of 2017, with his reported £7.5m-a-year salary unlikely to be fully paid up if he leaves now.
Indepdendent.ie understands that Van Gaal would be entitled to a "large proportion" of the remainder of his contract if he was to be sacked, but that figure would be substantially reduced if he stepped down from his role by resigning.
Van Gaal’s departure would also trigger the exit of his back room staff, with former Dutch under-21 coach Albert Stuivenberg likely to be paid off, while the position of goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek may also be under threat, despite the impressive work he has done with David De Gea.
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Fitness coordinator Jos van Dijk - who worked with Louis van Gaal since his time at AZ Alkmaar and joined United as a training physiologist in the summer of 2014 - may also leave United if a new managerial regime were to be appointed, with scouting coach Marcel Bout another of Van Gaal’s trusted allies.
Dutchman Max Reckers could also be surplus to requirements in his role as video analysis, with United’s move to appointed an experienced manager such as Jose Mourinho likely to ensure that a fresh team of coaches and fitness experts come with him.
Mourinho has a team of coaching staff that have remained loyal to him throughout his decorated coaching career and one of the stipulations he would have if he was under consideration to take over at United would be that his tried and tested team come with him.
Hiring up to six new members of staff and paying off as many would be a huge financial undertaking for United, yet it would be the break-up of the structure the club has put in place that would be most frustrating for the Old Trafford hierarchy.
The club’s owners and the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are known to have been hugely impressed by the professionalism of the infrastructure that has been put in place by Van Gaal since he arrived at the club in the summer of 2014, but it looks unlikely to remain in place for too much longer.
Even if Van Gaal limps along in his job until Friday’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Derby and makes it through to the end of this season, his departure next summer now seems to be inevitable.