Are Manchester United already lining up Louis van Gaal’s replacement?

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He may have guided Manchester United back into the top four with an unlikely victory over Arsenal last weekend but Louis van Gaal’s position as Red Devils boss could already be under threat.

The Dutchman had United fans dreaming of glory once more when guiding the Old Trafford outfit to an unbeaten seven-match run in pre-season but all hope faded with their worst start to a domestic campaign since 1986.

United remain odds-on at 1/3 to secure a top four place and a return to Champions League football but this says more about the poor form of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton than it does for Van Gaal and his expensively-assembled, new-look side.

Should the former Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern Munich manager guide United to a top four finish or better it is likely he will keep his job and set about adding more big-money stars to his squad so that the Red Devils can attempt to topple Chelsea from the English throne.

However, fail and United’s bosses have already identified the man they want to replace him – Real Madrid gaffer Carlo Ancelotti.

The three-time Champions League manager has worked wonders in the Premier League before, guiding the Blues to the title in 2009-10, and United are said to willing to pay the Italian £270,000 per week to return to England.

Ancelotti has been approached by Old Trafford chiefs twice before – to replace Sit Alex Ferguson and then David Moyes – and will hope it’s third time lucky if Van Gaal fails to deliver.

Attracting the 55-year-old looks an impossible task, however, with Real riding high in La Liga and qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Champions League with ease.

Why anyone would leave such a set-up to take over a team facing a second year out of Europe’s premier competition is beyond me but United will be hoping that 270,000 reasons to do so will be enough!

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

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