Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal has dismissed reports claiming Jose Mourinho as “nonsense”.
Former Chelsea coach Mourinho is currently unemployed and it has been widely reported that he is set to take over from Van Gaal in the summer.
“The last two months have been very difficult for my wife, my kids my grandchildren and my friends to cope with,” Van Gaal told The Guardian. “For me too, but I can cope. In the Netherlands they know I am too arrogant to doubt myself, but I also know that such a nonsense is being created about me. I do not believe that there is already a relationship between Jose Mourinho and Manchester United.”
Van Gaal accepts criticism as part of the job – “It is logical when you have lost four matches in a row, people are bound to be doubting” – though objects to misleading stories from Britain being reported as fact in his native Holland, which he says happened this week when it was claimed he had hired private security for his wife. “I criticise the media for inventing stories,” he said. “I never hired security. Never ever. And I am walking on the streets without security and all the people I meet are very positive.”
Van Gaal also claims he is making progress with his three-year process to overhaul his first-team squad, or will be once Champions League football is secured again for next season.
“If you look at the selection now to the one I took over there is no comparison,” he said. “When I came in there were eight or 10 players over the age of 30. I had to move some out, and people said I was wrong, but in the last 18 months players like Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have retired. They are not playing football any more.”