Van Gaal dismisses Mourinho reports

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

By BBC

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he does not believe reports that the club have lined up ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to replace him.

Mourinho, who was sacked in December, said he will be “back soon” after it was revealed his representatives had held talks with United.

Van Gaal said: “When there is such nonsense written about me, I cannot believe there is already a relationship between Jose Mourinho and United.”

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Chelsea host United on Sunday.

Mourinho’s dismissal from Chelsea ended his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.

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“I always say I need competition – I need competition every week,” the Portuguese, 53, told the Mail on Sunday. “For sure I’ll be back soon.”

Van Gaal has been under pressure at Old Trafford after a difficult second season in charge, which has seen his team’s style of play repeatedly criticised.

However, defeats by Stoke on Boxing Day and Southampton on 23 January have been followed by an improvement in form, including a 3-0 win against the Potters on Tuesday.

The Old Trafford side are fifth in the Premier League, five points adrift of the Champions League places.

The 64-year-old has another year left on his contract – and insisted at the end of January that he wants to stay until it expires.

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He added: “I cannot believe that [reports about Mourinho] because I have seen what is happening in the past two months and it was difficult for me, my wife, kids, grandchildren and friends to cope with that.

“It is the football world nowadays. It is a pity but it is like that.”

Mourinho, who has also managed Inter Milan and Real Madrid since his first spell in charge of Chelsea ended in 2007, is adamant that his family will remain in England.

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“At this moment I don’t know where football will take me, because in football you never know. But as a family, our home will be in London,” he added.

“No, I am not enjoying it [not working]. I can have my family, I can have my friends, I can have my quiet life, which I also like, and I can have my football.

“I can have everything together and I don’t need to give up on one of them.

“To be fully happy I need everything, so I go back to football. I think it’s my natural habitat. I have worked since I can remember, and as a manager since 2000.”

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