Louis van Gaal bristled at the suggestion Manchester United were actively looking for his successor – and let one journalist know the extent of his anger.
The Independent on Sunday revealed this weekend that Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea boss, is ‘confident’ about his chances of becoming the new manager at Old Trafford.
But Van Gaal maintains there is no such link and promised to ‘repeat myself every week’ until the stories over his future subside. The Red Devils are six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and a further 12 short of leaders Leicester City.
Jesse Lingard scored an excellent corkscrewed goal to put United ahead at Stamford Bridge before Diego Costa snatched a draw with an added-time equaliser despite an improved display by Van Gaal’s men.
Speaking after the match, the Dutchman asked a reporter: “You've spoken with [chief executive] Ed Woodward?
“OK. So you didn't speak to Ed Woodward, not with the Glazers [owners] and you are inventing a story. And then I have to answer this question. I don't answer this question. And I shall repeat myself every week.”
Journalist: Do you think that is important, while the club is trying to replace you, the fact you are putting in performances which say you might have a value to the club?
Louis van Gaal: You have spoken with Ed Woodward?
J: Well the club aren’t denying it.
LVG: Why do they have to deny? I don’t interfere neither. So why do the club have to deny that when you are creating stories?
J: I don’t know if you know what I’m writing.
LVG: Okay, Okay.. So you [haven't] spoken with Ed Woodward? Not with the Glazers? And you are inventing a story and I have to answer that question. I don’t answer this question and I shall repeat myself every week. Now I have to say that you [a reporter] are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce your name also. Look at your wife. Maybe you have children. Or a nephew or something like that.
When the fixture list was released last August, Chelsea fans saw that their team's last home game of the season was against Leicester City and thought: that may well be where the title is won. And they could yet be right, that might be a pivotal game in deciding the destiny of this year's crown.
Manchester United have shown they are capable of playing an attractive and attacking brand of football in their recent games, midfielder Juan Mata said after Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at his former club Chelsea.