Can Porto duo save Van Gaal’s Man United career?

Louis van Gaal goes from being on the brink of the sack to having quit and being talked down depending on your choice of newspaper but the Dutchman now looks set to have one last throw of the dice at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal was cut to 4/6 to have vacated the red Devils’ dugout before their next league game to Stoke yesterday but reports this morning suggest chief executive Ed Woodward is set to further back his man in the transfer market with a double swoop in Portuguese giants Porto.

United’s interest in defender Bruno Martins Indi is well documented, with the left-back having played under Van Gaal for Holland in the past, but United scouts who travelled to the mainland to run the rule over the 23-year-old recent also kept an eye on promising midfielder Ruben Neves.

The 18-year-old burst onto the scene in Portugal last year, playing 37 games in a season that saw his side finish as runners-up to Benfica.

Having represented Portugal at U16, U17, U18 and U21 level Neves was given his senior debut last year and has now played twice for Fernando Santos’ Seleccao side.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are also reportedly keeping tabs on the youngster but Van Gaal will hope a double deal can be struck when swooping for Martins Indi.

Neves has a £28m clause in his current contract so won’t come cheap as a teenager but van Gaal’s has shown in the past, with the capture of Anthony Martial, that he is prepared to put his faith in youth.

Woodward’s eagerness to retain Van Gaal’s services means a big money deal for the pair could happen before the January transfer window slams shut next week but should the pair fail to help United improve on what has been a lacklustre season they could be playing under a different manager before the season is out.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.