Louis van Gaal, according to reports, is considering leaving Manchester United in the summer despite having a contract until the end of 2016/17.
The Dutchman was appointed Reds boss following the disastrous reign of David Moyes, and immediately fulfilled his brief of returning the team to the top four of the Premier League. That he had a significant amount of money to spend in the transfer market helped his cause, and due to this he was expected to lead a charge for the title this season.
But despite even more cash being spent last summer it is widely felt that United have regressed over the course of the campaign, which has seen them crash out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage. And although they are just seven points behind leaders Arsenal, they could easily miss out on the top four as they trail Tottenham Hotspur by two points.
Van Gaal has also had to deal with growing discontent amongst the Old Trafford regulars, who are bored with his possession-based football which has diluted the attacking play they have become accustomed to over the years. All this has contributed to piling on the pressure on the 64-year-old, who The Mirror claim is now considering quitting this summer.
That would be 12 months ahead of schedule, but it would be a decision which would save the club from sacking a second manager since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Van Gaal has a record of walking away from jobs in the past, and it was he himself who raised the possibility of doing so again during a miserable run of eight games without a win last year.
Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed by Chelsea in December, is thought to be the frontrunner for the job, although the club could yet decide to give Ryan Giggs a chance to take the reigns. Or United could even make a concerted bid to lure Pep Guardiola when he leaves Bayern Munich at the end of the season, although neighbours City are favourites to take the Spaniard.