PREMIER LEAGUE

Van Gaal's sacking confirmed as Mourinho waits in the wings

The Old Trafford club issued a statement on Monday night thanking the Dutchman for his two years of service. José Mourinho is expected to replace the ousted manager.

Van Gaal's sacking confirmed as Mourinho waits in the wings

The beginning of the José Mourinho era at Manchester United looks imminent after the club confirmed on Monday evening that Louis van Gaal’s tenure as the Red Devils’ manager has officially come to an end.

The Old Trafford club confirmed the news, which AS broke as early as Saturday morning, via its official website.

Manchester United statement

“Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: "I would like to thank Louis and his staff for their excellent work in the past two years culminating in winning a record-equalling 12th FA Cup for the club (and securing him a title in four different countries). He has behaved with great professionalism and dignity throughout his time here. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future.

A decision on a successor as manager will be announced soon”.

Van Gaal's arrival at United's Carrington training ground on Monday morning came shortly before that of leading employment lawyer Paul Gilroy QC.

Gilroy represented David Moyes when the Scot was fired as United boss two years ago, and it is thought his presence in this instance was in a similar capacity. Reports suggest that the Dutchman will receive somewhere in the region of €6.5 million as compensation.

Mourinho's appointment would reignite his previous 'El Clásico' rivalry with ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who takes charge at Manchester City this summer.

The Special One will find himself without Champions League football during his first term in charge. United finished the 2015-16 Premier League in fifth, meaning the Portuguese will have to settle for a run in the Europa League.

Van Gaal's sacking could well see assistant and Red Devils legend Ryan Giggs leave the club after 29 years.

Another man whose future at the club looks in doubt is Juan Mata. The Asturian midfielder was forced out of Chelsea by Mourinho in 2014 despite having been voted player of the season for two successive years by the London club.