Louis van Gaal: Manchester United went ‘behind my back’ to sign Jose Mourinho

Louis van Gaal has reportedly hit out at the Manchester United hierarchy after he was kept in the dark over Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Old Trafford. The Dutchman was axed from his managerial role just 48 hours after United’s FA Cup triumph in 2016 – which was the club’s first silverware in three years.

In an interview with Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad, Van Gaal has insisted that he had no knowledge about Mourinho’s arrival, and he would have sacrificed his salary, had this been the case. He added that the club’s actions did not go well with him, and he decided to demand every penny of the £8.4m sum -paid to him and his coaches.

He said: “The pressure was enormous with my head in the noose and they went right behind my back,” said Van Gaal. I think it was all orchestrated like a film and it was done very much behind my back right from January.”

“United did not discuss this with me. If they had come to me with the Mourinho plan then I could have said ‘OK, let’s give it everything for the last six months, complete commitment to each other and the team and then Jose Mourinho can take over’. They could have saved the last year of my salary by doing that but after what happened I made them pay every penny.”

Van Gaal was recruited by Manchester United in May 2014 following the sacking of David Moyes. The 66-year-old guided the Red Devils to a top-four finish in his first season in charge, but his second year did not please the United board, who opted to release him 12 months prior to his contract expiry.

Mourinho has since done a fairly good job at Old Trafford, guiding the club to an EFL Cup and Europa League double last term. Manchester United are currently top of the Premier League standings with 10 points after the first four games of the season.


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