Van Gaal 2

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted the club may have spoken to Jose Mourinho behind his back about replacing him in the summer.

Van Gaal is still hoping United have not gone behind his back to speak to Mourinho, who got his first formal coaching job as his assistant at Barcelona but the Dutchman is not that naïve as he admits there is no honour among managers.

When questioned if he had spoken to Mourinho about the situation, Van Gaal said: “No. In the football world that doesn’t happen. I was chairman of the coaches’ federation in the Netherlands and we had a rule that you can never talk with a club without informing the present manager.

“But sometimes it has been broken by people and by managers. It is always like that. It is not always an honest world.”

Van Gaal still has nearly 18 months left on his contract and ironically, he was also in similar situation in 1997 when he accepted the Barcelona job, even though Bobby Robson still had a year to run on his contract.

Robson would later confront Van Gaal, who agreed to stand aside for a year so the Englishman could finish his contract.

Robson however stepped down eventually for Van Gaal to take over, but stayed on his manager’s salary as he was made the club’s chief scout worldwide.

Meanwhile, United will face Danish side Midtjylland in the Europa League and Van Gaal concedes it could be the only way for them to make the Champions League next season.

“Winning the Europa League would be a successful season because then we have fulfilled our aim which is to qualify for the Champions League,” he said.