Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has dismissed reports that the club have approached Jose Mourinho about succeeding him at Old Trafford, in comments published by British newspapers on Sunday.
The BBC and regional newspaper the Manchester Evening News reported on Friday that United have held preliminary talks with Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December.
But Van Gaal, whose contract expires next year, described reports about his position as “nonsense” and said he found it impossible to believe that United were lining up his replacement.
“There has been such nonsense created about me,” said Van Gaal, whose side were due to visit Chelsea in the Premier League later on Sunday.
“I don’t believe there is already a relationship between Jose Mourinho and Manchester United because I have seen what has happened here over the last two months.
“It has been very difficult for me, for my wife, for my kids, for my grandchildren and for my friends to cope with that. But it is the football world these days.”
United went into the weekend five points below the Champions League places in fifth place.
They remain alive in the FA Cup and the Europa League, but were knocked out of the League Cup in round four and the Champions League in the group phase.
Mourinho stated after being sacked by Chelsea that he would remain in England and he told the Mail on Sunday that he was eager to return to work.
“I stopped when I left Chelsea in 2007, for a few months, and now is the second time I stop in 15 or 16 years, so it is not a drama. But for sure, I will be back soon,” Mourinho said.
“At this moment I don’t know where football will take me, because in football you never know. But as a family, our home will be in London.
“I experimented with English, Italian and Spanish football, three of the top football sides in the world (Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid). I always say I need competition. I need competition every week.
“No, I am not enjoying it. I can have my family, I can have my friends, I can have my quiet life, which I also like, and I can have my football. I can have everything together and I don’t need to give up on one of them.
“To be fully happy I need everything, so I go back to football. I think it’s my natural habitat. I have worked since I can remember, and as a manager since 2000.”