Manchester United are preparing for talks over the future of their manager Louis van Gaal in the new year. The talks will involve the Dutch manager’s decision whether he wishes to depart after his current contract ends in 2017 or sign a fresh contract. The club’s owners, the Glazers, are understood to be content with the progress made since the 64-year-old’s appointment in the summer of 2014.
Van Gaal has overseen steady progress at Old Trafford ever since he took over the reins last season, and led the Red Devils to the Champions League group stages after a year’s absence in 2014/15. United are currently fourth in the Premier League, only three points behind league leaders Leicester City.
And the club are readying themselves for Van Gaal’s decision on his future in the new year. Van Gaal has told in the past his decision to retire at the end of his current United contract to spend more time with his wife, Truus, at their villa in southern Portugal. But he has also offered hints he might be inclined to stay on at the club for longer than the length of his current contract.
The Glazers are satisfied with Van Gaal, who has somewhat steadied the ship after the turbulent times during David Moyes’ season in charge, wherein they failed to make it into Europe altogether, finishing seventh in the league. Van Gaal has turned United into one of the title contenders this season, and the club’s owners have been impressed with the Dutchman to the extent of not entertaining thoughts about making a move for Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola, who could be set for a move next summer.
Other than anything else, Van Gaal and United’s motivation to extend his deal is purely sporting. The Dutchman has an impressive trophy haul in his career, and should he hand the club their 21st league title, or win other trophies or make them a force in Europe, it is highly likely he will stay on beyond his current contract.
Should Van Gaal decide to not extend his stay at Old Trafford during next year’s talks, the club will then draw up plans for the road ahead, to cover any eventuality. Those plans will mainly include their search for the candidate to replace Van Gaal in the Old Trafford hot seat.