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Published: 14:41 | 23/5/16

United sack Van Gaal

Jose Mourinho set to take over

Louis van Gaal has been sacked by Manchester United just two days after lifting the FA Cup.

The Dutchman's future at Old Trafford has been the subject of intense speculation for several weeks but the rumour mill went into overdrive just minutes after Saturday's FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace when it was reported that United were preparing to relive him of his duties.

His future dominated his post-match press conference at Wembley, but he refused to be drawn on the speculation and defiantly placed the trophy on the desk in front of him before hitting out at the media for prematurely reporting his sacking.

"I show you the cup and I don't discuss it (my future) with my friends of the media, who already sacked me for six months. Which manager can do what I have done?" Van Gaal said on Saturday.

Van Gaal arrived at the club's Carrington training ground on Monday morning and a short time later the League Managers' Association lawyer Paul Gilroy QC drove into the facility - he is the same employment barrister who acted for David Moyes when he was sacked as manager by United in 2014.

However, confirmation of his departure only came as the New York Stock Exchange closed on Monday evening Irish time.

"Louis van Gaal is to leave Manchester United, with immediate effect," a statement from the club read.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: "I would 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 (and securing him a title in four different countries). 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. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future."

"A decision on a successor as manager will be announced soon."

Although the club ended the season on a high, they missed out on Champions League qualification to neighbours Manchester City on goal difference and managed just 49 league goals, their lowest tally in 26 years.

Van Gaal was appointed in 2013 and he has thanked Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton for the support they have shown him during his two years at the club.

"It has been an honour to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United FC, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition," Van Gaal said.

"I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club's history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.

"I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan. I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success.

"I hope that winning the FA Cup will give the club a platform to build upon next season to restore the success that this passionate set of fans desire.

"Having managed in Holland, Spain and Germany, I had always hoped for the opportunity to manage in English football and be part of English culture. Both of these experiences have lived up to expectations and been fantastic.

"I thank my players and wish them well for next season. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel. I look forward to watching the continued development of these young players next season.

"Thank you to the owners and board of Manchester United for giving me the opportunity to manage this great club.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to the amazing United supporters. They are truly the best fans in the world.

"I am indebted to my support and coaching staff, who have given me their all during their time at the club.

"I am deeply grateful to each and every member of the club’s staff - the sports science team, the medical team, the kit and laundry department, club administration, the press office, the manager's team, the Academy team, ground staff and the catering team, both at Old Trafford stadium and Carrington training ground, all of whom have given me their unwavering support in my time at United. Never in my 25 years as a manager have I been so well supported in my role.

"Finally, my special thanks go to Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton for always making me and my family feel so welcome throughout my time as Manchester United manager."

Rumours linking Jose Mourinho with United have failed to go away and it is anticipated that he will appointed in the coming days.

The Portuguese coach has been out of work since leaving Chelsea in December but he has repeatedly been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

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