Louis van Gaal’s influence over Manchester United’s pre-season tour this summer suggests that the Dutchman will remain in charge for next season.
The Dutchman has come under intense scrutiny throughout the campaign thus far, with United ultimately falling short of expectations prior to the season getting underway.
With speculation linking Jose Mourinho becoming Van Gaal’s successor this summer, as reported by The Guardian, the current boss has had his future questioned on numerous occasions.
However, the fact that he has had such an influence on the club’s pre-season schedule suggests that he will see out the final year of his contract as ultimately United wouldn’t have given him that responsibility unless they believed he would still be in charge.
The former Ajax and Barcelona coach has reportedly successfully reduced the club’s planned tour of China, as noted by The Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports, ensuring that United will play just two friendly games in Shanghai and Beijing as opposed to initial plans of at least four matches.
While also aiming a sideswipe at the hierarchy in his press conference this week in suggesting that the commercial appeal of the tour called for more time to be spent in the Far East, Van Gaal has prioritised the squad and getting them ready for the new campaign.
Much could yet be decided in the coming weeks with United still chasing a top four finish, which in turn would give them a chance to qualify for the Champions League, as well as pushing to win the FA Cup.
If Van Gaal can end the season strongly and secure victory in those two mini-battles, then perhaps he will be under less pressure and at less risk of being sacked in the summer.
Nevertheless, having such an influence on such important plans for the club this summer has to be an indication of where both parties see their respective futures.
Whether or not it is a popular decision is up for debate, but Van Gaal will be looking to dismiss all the negativity by giving the supporters plenty to cheer about in the closing stages of the season. If he fails to do so, then it would be no surprise if United’s plans change both on and off the pitch.