Louis van Gaal has walked out of a press conference after becoming annoyed about speculation regarding his future as Manchester United manager.
Rumours have been rife this week that the Dutchman is about to be sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed by Chelsea last Thursday.
But after just under five minutes’ questioning at his weekly press conference, Van Gaal refused to take any more questions and walked out, saying as he passed a table of mince pies and wine that had been laid on for the media: “I wish you a merry Christmas and also maybe a happy new year when I see you.
“Enjoy the wine and a mince pie. Goodbye.”
Here is the full transcript from Van Gaal’s press conference, which he walked out of after four minutes and 58 seconds.
Question 1: “Louis, thank you for your time. Arsene Wenger has said today that the speculation over your future is disrespectful. Is that something you agree with?”
Answer: “Erm, has anybody in this room not a feeling to apologise to me? Nobody has that feeling? That’s what I’m wondering?”
Question 2: “What have we done wrong?”
Answer: “I think I was already sacked, I have read - I have been sacked. My colleague was here already. What do you think that happens with my wife or with my kids or with my grandchildren or with the fans of Manchester United or my friends? What do you think? They have called me a lot of times and also Arsene Wenger is saying something about that. Do you think that I want to talk with the media now? I’m here only because of the Premier League rules. I have to talk with you. But I can only see when I say something that you use my words in your context. I want to say only that I have tried to lift the confidence of my players, I have done everything this week. I hold meetings, evaluation meetings with the players, with my member of staff, I hold a Christmas lunch, I have held a speech and I feel the warmth and support of everybody in Carrington, this AON training complex. But I didn’t feel that in the media and, of course, I can imagine that you can write about that subject. We are not in a good position but four weeks ago we were first in the Premier League and in about four weeks we can again be back in that position.
Question 3: “You have been though Louis at big clubs, huge clubs before. This is Manchester United and when results don’t go well and when the supporters have turned it is inevitable that speculation will happen. You surely aren’t surprised that there is speculation?”
Answer: “No, I don’t think that you can do that because you have to stick by the facts and when I get calls from (former manager Sir) Alex Ferguson and (director) David Gill and (executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward because you are creating something that is not good, that is not being the facts and now I have to answer the questions. I don’t think that I want to do it. I only say now I am focused on Stoke City, I help my players, I wish you a Merry Christmas and maybe also a Happy New Year when I see you. Enjoy the wine and a mince pie. Goodbye (walks out).”