Manchester United have confirmed that Louis van Gaal has been sacked as manager of the Old Trafford club after two years in charge.
The experienced Dutchman arrived in England as the Red Devils were undergoing major changes following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and a disastrous period under David Moyes.
Over 24 months Van Gaal has led United into the Champions League and won the FA Cup two days before being dismissed as the club’s manager.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward paid homage to the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss as the news was announced.
“I would like to thank Louis and his staff for their excellent work in the past two years culminating in winning a record-equalling 12th FA Cup for the club (and securing him a title in four different countries),” a statement reads.
“He has behaved with great professionalism and dignity throughout his time here. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future.”
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 24, 2016
Van Gaal ultimately has paid the price for finishing outside the top four in 2015-16, with a lack of attacking inspiration in the final third also leading to his exit.
The Dutchman released a long statement saying he was honored to have been in charge at Old Trafford.
“It has been an honor to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United FC, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition,” he said.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 23, 2016
“I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club’s history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.
“I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan. I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success.”
United have stated that an announcement on the club’s new manager will be made in the near future, with it little secret that Jose Mourinho is set to be unveiled at Old Trafford.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) May 23, 2016
The former Chelsea boss was sacked from the outgoing Premier League champions following a tumultuous start to the 2015-16 campaign but boasts a proud record of managerial success.
Having won the Champions League for both Porto and Inter Milan, Mourinho has also claimed domestic titles in Portugal, Italy, Spain and England.
The reaction of the United fans to the outspoken coach’s arrival will be interesting given that he was highly disliked in the Old Trafford ranks during his reign at Stamford Bridge.