New United deal for Van Gaal?

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Despite growing frustration among supporters over the style of football under Van Gaal and the threat of United going out of the Champions League tomorrow night, the club’s American owners and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are happy with the progress he has made since taking over 17 months ago.

The 64-year-old’s contract is due to run out in the summer of 2017 and United are open to extending it. They are keen to clarify Van Gaal’s position and have a plan in place by the end of the season.

That would give United 12 months to find a successor if Van Gaal decides to go. The Old Trafford board do not want a repeat of Sir Alex Ferguson’s sudden retirement in 2013 when they were caught cold.

Van Gaal insists this will be his last job in football and that he intends to leave at the end of his deal to honour a promise to his wife Truus.

But United still believe they can persuade him to stay longer. They have decided not to make a move for Pep Guardiola if he leaves Bayern Munich at the end of the season, and senior sources deny suggestions they have held talks with former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

The decision leaves Manchester City as clear favourites to get Guardiola.

It also comes against a backdrop of increasing discontent among fans, with Saturday’s goalless draw at home to West Ham ending in boos.

It was United’s sixth stalemate of a season in which Van Gaal’s cautious approach has been widely criticised.

His team fly to Germany today knowing they must beat Wolfsburg in their final Champions League group tie to be sure of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Van Gaal believes United will score despite managing just one effort on target from their 21 attempts on goal against West Ham. They will again be without captain Wayne Rooney due to an ankle injury.

‘I have great confidence we shall score at Wolfsburg,’ said Van Gaal. ‘I always believe in my team and that’s the confidence I want to show.’

Asked if the failure to convert chances might affect his players mentally, he replied: ‘Yes, it’s always possible but you cannot prove that.

‘A lot of players missed chances against West Ham. We can make a big issue of it but I don’t believe we have to do that. We are not scoring many chances and we have to score at Wolfsburg. We don’t want to be eliminated. But it is always possible.’

Bastian Schweinsteiger returns to Germany adamant that Van Gaal’s team must show the ‘killer instinct’ by putting any missed chances to the back of their minds and taking the next opportunity.

‘Players are not scared in front of goal, no,’ said Schweinsteiger. ‘It is all about the killer instinct. If you miss you have to be unhappy.’

For all the talk of United’s chances, West Ham could easily have won after hitting the post twice and seeing Victor Moses and Mauro Zarate fail to beat David de Gea.

West Ham were unhappy that Schweinsteiger escaped punishment from referee Mark Clattenburg after he clashed with Winston Reid at a corner just before half-time.

‘It was a red card,’ said Reid. ‘He knows what he’s done — he’s elbowed me in the face.’ – Daily Mail

Original source: New United deal for Van Gaal?

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