Louis van Gaal: Man Utd boss did not offer to resign after defeat

Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal's Manchester United contract expires in 2017

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal did not offer to resign at the weekend, despite reports to the contrary.

Van Gaal, 64, was said to have told executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward he would be prepared to quit following Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Southampton.

Sources have told BBC Sport no such conversation took place.

Van Gaal returned to United's training ground on Tuesday as they begin preparations for Friday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Derby County.

Woodward, meanwhile, has club commitments in London rather than north-west England.

United are maintaining their long-established position of refusing to publicly discuss Van Gaal's future.

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The Red Devils have won just two of their past 10 Premier League matches and are five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

Van Gaal and his players were booed during and after Saturday's home game, in which they had just one shot on target.

Appointed as successor to David Moyes in 2014, Van Gaal is just over halfway through a three-year contract.

He took the team back into the Champions League in his first campaign but has been heavily criticised this season for both United's style of play and results.

Van Gaal's side were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League and have failed to score a first-half goal in their past 11 home games.

Former chief executive David Gill, who is still a director of the club, said on Sunday the team have "underachieved".

What happens next?

Should Woodward and the club's owners, the Glazer family, decide a change is required, the three favourites to replace Van Gaal are Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Ryan Giggs.

United are reluctant to get into a public battle for Guardiola, given the widely held view the 45-year-old has already decided to join Manchester City when his Bayern Munich contract expires in the summer.

Mourinho, 53, is available after his dismissal by Chelsea in December and is understood to be interested in the job should it become available.

Giggs, 42, took charge for four matches following Moyes' sacking in April 2014, before accepting the role of Van Gaal's assistant.

It would be a surprise if the most decorated player in the club's history did not covet the manager's job but whether he would accept a short-term appointment without some guarantee of his future status is less certain.

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