Van Gaal: Mourinho stories ‘invented’

Hazard backheel skill in warm-up before Real debut

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has once again asserted that claims about his future at the club being in doubt have been fabricated by the media.

As has now become almost customary, Van Gaal was forced to answer questions about his future in his pre-match press conference, with reports earlier in the week suggesting that Jose Mourinho’s move to United was a ‘done deal’.

Asked if the club should publicly show their backing for him, Van Gaal said that there was no need.

“I do not agree they need to make a statement,” he contended.

“I’ve said it many times that a lot of the media is inventing stories and you don’t have to respond to invented stories.”

Asked whether he thought there had been talks between the club and Mourinho, Van Gaal said: “In football that is possible, but I do not think that.”

The Dutchman added that he thought chief executive Ed Woodward and the club’s owners, the Glazer family, “would tell me” if such talks were taking place.

The Red Devils currently sit fifth on the Premier League standings, and asked whether he needed to secure Champions League football to retain his position, Van Gaal responded: “It’s not a question for me, it’s a question for the board of Manchester United, you have to put it to them.

“I have a contract for three years and you know that.”

United travel to struggling Sunderland on Saturday.