Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is considering walking out of Old Trafford this summer, one year before his contract expires. Reports of van Gaal's departure have been emerging even before the Red Devils augmented their recent losing streak on Saturday when they lost to Southampton.
Last week, The Mirror published a piece suggesting that the Dutch football manager is planning to vacate his post early citing sources in Holland who claim that his family have become increasingly concerned at the heavy toll the job is taking on the 64-year-old.
However, that is not the only reason contributing to van Gaal's reputation as manager to go downhill. The club's fans have reportedly grown tired of the Dutchman's pragmatic and uninspiring brand of football. The players have also previously complained to the manager about the number of meetings and repetitive training sessions he obliged them to attend.
Adding to the odds of van Gaal's potential early exit is Manchester United's recent 1-0 loss to Southampton during this weekend's Premier League action. The manager himself conceded that his decision to throw winger Adnan Januzaj on for defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson played a part in their defeat.
United fans were chanting "attack, attack, attack" after just 40 minutes and booed United off after the first half and again on the final whistle. The club only recorded one shot on target, from defensive midfielder Daley Blind, and were beaten by a late goal from Southampton forward Charlie Austin.
The Old Trafford crowd understandably turned on van Gaal and booed him, but the manager has mentioned the people were right to do so. "You cannot say that they [fans] are not right. They are right and of course they are disappointed and they have the right to boo me," van Gaal said during a press conference shortly after the game.
When asked if it was the Red Devils' worst performance under his reign, he said: "I don't know, but it was a poor performance, of course. Football is not only defending but creating chances, and we didn't create any chances. Our opponents neither -- I think it was a poor game for the fans."
In other Manchester United updates, reports out of the U.K. indicates that the team is close to signing the talented Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches.
The 18-year-old Portuguese footballer has a buy-out clause of approximately £60 million ($85.6 million) but the English football club are negotiating hard. The Daily Mail reported that it is the second time Manchester United officials have met with their Benfica counterparts. The Lisbon club put an expensive price tag on the teenager but are expected to sell for around half of the £60 million sum with add-ons.
Sanches has performed impressively both as an attacking midfielder and as a winger. Manchester United scouts were initially watching veteran full back Eliseu Pereira dos Santos and winger Goncalo Guedes, but later realized that the young Sanches was the player for them.