Louis van Gaal Hits Out at 'Inhuman Pressure' at Manchester United Before Sacking
Former Ajax and Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal has revealed his side of the story of his last six months in charge of Manchester United
The Dutchman claimed to Algemeen Dagblad that the Red Devils went behind his back to seal the appointment of Jose Mourinho back in January 2016, a month after Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea.
“I think it was all directed behind my back from January," he said. "I was on the chopping block for six months. With my head publicly on the gallows. The pressure was almost inhuman.
"That's why I say that winning the FA Cup has actually been my biggest achievement as a coach, because despite the noose around your neck, you have to keep those players motivated."
Van Gaal insisted that he would have been willing to step down at the end of the season and hand the reins to the Portuguese manager if the club had simply explained the situation to him, saying: “It is my biggest disappointment that United did not come to discuss these things with me. [They told me] only after my approaching dismissal was already leaked immediately after the final."
The Dutchman said that he would've been better prepared if the club let their intentions known to him in advance.
"If they had come to me with the Mourinho story in January, I would have said: 'okay, we're going to give everything for another six months, fully committed to each other, and then he'll take over'.
"Then they would have been able to keep that third year's salary after I left, But now I have made them pay up to the last penny."
Van Gaal also claimed that Manchester United are a club on the more commercial side of football and require high quality every season, saying: "A club can be football focised in its organisation or commercially. At United, the balance is more towards the commercial side.
"They could get Mourinho, a long-term choice, and a coach with a high commercial value throughout the world. Finally, Woodward said so to me the day after the FA Cup final."