By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Louis van Gaal is ready to quit as Manchester United manager if the team flop to their fifth defeat in a row against Chelsea on Monday.
The under-fire Dutchman is fighting for his job after another calamitous 2-0 defeat against Stoke and revealed that if he is unable to get a response at Old Trafford, he will jump before he is pushed.
That is provided the club don’t take their own unilateral action in the next 24 hours and throw Ryan Giggs in to take temporary charge.
Speaking to the media on Boxing Day, Van Gaal said he intends to speak to the club’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, who was not at the Britannia Stadium, and hinted he might be ready to offer his resignation.
“I can quit by myself but that is something I speak about with Ed Woodward by himself,” the United manager said. “I will speak with him first and then with my staff. I need to have a conversation but I do not need to tell you what I want to say. I am not so interested in public talking.”
The public is talking about him, however, and the first thing it wants to know is whether he will still be in a job when Chelsea visit Old Trafford on Monday. “You will have to wait and see,” he said. “But I think so.”
United’s defeat at Stoke follows losses at the hands of Wolfsburg, Bournemouth and Norwich, their worst run since 1990.
The Premier League giants have now lost four competitive matches in a row within a single season for the first time since the 1961-62 campaign, and have extended their win-less streak to seven games.
They have slipped to sixth in the Premier League a month after heading the table and will also be in the Europa League in the new year following their Champions League exit.