MANCHESTER. — Manchester United are split on what to do about their managerial situation.
The Daily Star yesterday revealed that there is support in the Old Trafford corridors of power for both assistant manager Ryan Giggs and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
But United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward — who holds the chief executive role too — is still hoping that current boss Louis van Gaal finishes the campaign strongly.
That would see Van Gaal, 64, still in charge next season, when he enters the final year of his contract.
Ultimately, United’s owners — the America based Glazer family — will have the final say.
Club legend Giggs (42) has been seen for some time as a future Old Trafford boss.
But one influential voice at the club believes Mourinho, who turns 53 tomorrow, should get his wish to finally manage the club given his trophy-winning record. Pep Guardiola was linked with United again last week and there are claims he fancies the job more than the Manchester City hot-seat.
But the in-demand Spanish coach (45), who is quitting Bayern Munich in the summer, has serious concerns that United’s hierarchy cannot match his needs and aspirations in the transfer market.
It means City are still favourites to secure the services of the former Barcelona coach.
Chelsea would also love to appoint him in the summer, having twice failed to lure him to the club in the last five years.
But while Guardiola would be interested in setting up base in London, Arsenal would be his first choice and the chances of Arsene Wenger stepping down are very slim.
All of which leaves City, with Guardiola’s former Barcelona colleagues Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain in key positions at The Etihad, in pole position to appoint him in the summer.
Meanwhile, van Gaal admitted the furious reaction of Manchester United supporters to their side’s dismal 1-0 defeat against Southampton was the worst he has experienced in an increasingly turbulent season.
Van Gaal’s side failed to score at Old Trafford for the seventh time this term and were eventually beaten by a late headed goal from Southampton debutant Charlie Austin.
United are now five points adrift of a top-four place in the English Premier League and their dejected players trudged off with boos ringing in their ears at full-time.
Inevitably, beleaguered boss van Gaal was also subjected to renewed derision from disgruntled fans who have given the Dutchman plenty of abuse for his conservative tactics over the last few months. The pressure on van Gaal will only increase with United having won just three of their last 13 games and he accepted the criticism from supporters was more vitriolic than ever.
“Yes, because it was very clear,” he said. “I can imagine (why) also because I have seen a poor match.” — The Daily Star-AFP.