Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has not been included in the club’s promotional material for their pre-season tour of China this summer, thus casting further doubt over his long-term future at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman has come under intense scrutiny throughout the season thus far for his style of play and United’s lack of consistency.
Although they still remain in the hunt for a Champions League qualification spot, their early elimination from the tournament this season, coupled with their exit from their Europa League and inability to compete for domestic honours aside from the FA Cup has led to calls for his sacking.
While United have yet to make that move, they have announced that they will face Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in China in July, but it doesn’t appear as though Van Gaal will be a part of it, based on this video on ManUtd.com.
The former Ajax and Barcelona boss was included in material for both the club’s 2014 and 2015 pre-season tours, and so it would seem obvious that he would appear in next year’s if the club believed that he would be coach moving forward.
Van Gaal still has a year remaining on his current contract, but a failure to qualify for the Champions League could be the breaking point for the United hierarchy in a season full of ups and downs.
Following their derby win last weekend, United are just a behind fourth-placed City with eight games remaining in the campaign, and so they are certainly more than capable of securing a qualifying spot still.
Nevertheless, they have yet to prove that they can consistently deliver, despite Van Gaal rightfully receiving plenty of praise for his ability to develop young talent with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard all becoming first-team regulars.
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The pre-season tour won’t start in easy fashion, with United set to take on Pep Guardiola’s City side in China’s capital on July 25, with the Spaniard replacing Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.
However, whether or not he squares off against Van Gaal remains to be seen, as if this is an indication of the club’s plans moving forward, it seems a pretty cheap way of confirming that they plan to make a change.