Louis van Gaal will not quit Manchester United and could yet stay beyond the end of his three-year contract, according to former colleague Raymond Verheijen.
Fitness coach Verheijen, who was part of Van Gaal’s staff with the Dutch national team at Euro 2000, said he thought United chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer still backed the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach.
Van Gaal is under pressure amid questions over his style of play and a poor run of form that has seen United exit the Champions League at the group stage, but he hit out at journalists for claiming he would be sacked during an angry news conference on Wednesday.
Verheijen told BBC Radio 5 Live he expected his fellow Dutchman to remain in the job until at least 2017.
“If I listen to all the press conferences of Van Gaal lately I think he is in a stable situation,” he said. “They clearly have developed a three-year plan.
“I don’t think the American owners [the Glazers] will sack him because there are a lot of things they really like about him, and one of them is that he has turned the training ground and the whole environment at Man United into a very modern, professional environment. It’s typical American so the owners really like that.
“One problem is the performances and the results. If you are manager of Manchester United, you should understand that, if you lose three times in a row, you will be criticised.
“Man United is not a club in which you can develop a team for two, three years. Man United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and you have to perform [immediately].”
Verheijen, who also worked as Wales’ assistant manager, added: “Louis van Gaal is not a quitter, he is a fighter. He will fight until the last day and he is looking for the full three years and maybe staying even longer.”