Van Gaal sacked by United, Mourinho poised to step in
By Mitch Phillips
(Reuters) - Manchester United sacked manager Louis van Gaal on Monday after an FA Cup triumph failed to make up for the club's inability to qualify for the Champions League amid widespread discontent with a season of insipid performances.
The Dutchman was dismissed two days after United's win over Crystal Palace in the Wembley Cup final, their first trophy in three years, paving the way for the widely-expected appointment of former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as his successor.
News of Van Gaal's impending departure from the club leaked out minutes after Saturday's 2-1 extra-time victory over Palace and, following relentless media speculation and a day of negotiations, it was confirmed by both sides on Monday evening.
"I'd 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," executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement on the website of the club owned by the American Glazer family (www.manutd.com).
"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."
Van Gaal, though gushing in his appreciation of the chance to manage the club, was not so happy to be moving on.
"I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan," he said.
"It has been an honor to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United FC, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition. Continued...