Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson believes that Louis van Gaal’s long-term future at Manchester United is dependent on whether the club secures a top four finish in the Premier League.
Man United have suffered a largely disappointing season and sit fifth in the league table, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand.
Van Gaal’s side will face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 21 but Lawrenson insisted that results in the league will decide whether United decide to change their manager.
“Getting some silverware will be great but being in the Champions League means far more for everything, from sponsorship to attracting players.”
United finished outside the top four under David Moyes a few seasons ago and they barely scraped into it during van Gaal’s debut season in charge.
For a club of United’s resources, their league form has been disappointing, to say the least. Another season without Champions League football would be disastrous in terms of their long-term direction.
Van Gaal hasn’t really overseen any substantial progress during his reign at Old Trafford and he can have no complaints if he is let go at the end of the summer. Even if he does secure a top four finish, it may be a negative move to keep hold of him, particularly with Jose Mourinho waiting in the wings.