Louis van Gaal will face the media today for the first time since speculation began claiming that he is set to be replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho has been linked with the Manchester United manager’s job over the last week following his dismissal as Chelsea boss.
Van Gaal is under increasing pressure after United embarked upon a six-match winless run that has also seen them exit the Champions League.
Mourinho is understood to be ready to take the top job at United should the board decide to sack Van Gaal, who is halfway through his three-year contract.
The Portuguese’s agent Jorge Mendes, speaking to Globo Esporte on Tuesday night, denied a deal had been struck between his client and the United board.
Mendes insisted an “official proposal” had not been tabled by United, but the super agent did not exactly pour cold water on claims the former Chelsea manager is set for the hot seat at Old Trafford.
“There is nothing,” Mendes said. “We don’t know what will happen in the future, but now there is no agreement. There isn’t an official proposal either – that’s not true.”
Van Gaal, who worked with Mourinho at Barcelona, is expected to receive questions on the Portuguese and his own job security at his weekly press conference in Carrington at 3.30pm today.
Speaking after the 2-1 loss to Norwich last Saturday, Van Gaal insisted he had the backing of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and his own players.
”Ed was very fast out of the dressing room but I feel that support, yes,” the 64-year-old said.
”The most important support is from the players because the players have to do it on the pitch and the chemistry between the players and the manager and his staff is very important.”
Some fans clearly want Mourinho to replace Van Gaal, however.
Cries of Mourinho’s name could be heard around Old Trafford on Saturday and United were booed off the pitch following their third straight defeat, which left them in fifth position.
Three weeks ago, senior United figures insisted Van Gaal had the board’s full support, but after a run of six matches without a win, they have now fallen quiet.
It is understood the United board were disappointed in particular at Van Gaal’s failure to lead the team through what was viewed as a relatively easy Champions League group containing PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.
And a second straight defeat in the league means United head into the busy Christmas schedule outside the Barclays Premier League’s top four.
Although United could stomach another year out of the Champions League in a financial sense, the damage to the club’s standing in the game would be hit if they were not in Europe’s top club competition next season.
And with Mourinho available and willing to take the job, there has been a flood of speculation linking the two-time Champions League winner with United.
United will also be aware Pep Guardiola is available in the summer, although he is rumoured to be ready to move to Manchester City instead following his stint with Bayern Munich.
United travel to Stoke on Boxing Day before hosting Chelsea on December 28.