Van Gaal
Louis van Gaal is unlikely to be sacked before the end of the seasonGetty

Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward is yet to open negotiations with Jose Mourinho over a move to Old Trafford as he does not want to sack Louis van Gaal before the end of the season. The Dutchman is going through a torrid period, exacerbated by their 2-1 loss to Danish club Midtjylland in the first leg of the round of 32 tie in the Europa League.

The Telegraph reports that Woodward is unwilling to shake up the management at this point, with five important games coming up in the United calendar, which can shape the rest of the season. The Red Devils play Shrewsbury town in the fifth round of the FA Cup before taking on Midtjylland again in the second leg at Old Trafford as they look to overcome the deficit. This is followed by games against Arsenal, Watford and West Bromwich Albion, which could all but end their hopes of finishing in the top four for yet another season.

Woodward is under pressure to react to Van Gaal's incompetence but he is willing to give the former Bayern Munich manager the benefit of the doubt given the number of injuries United have at this point. The Red Devils are missing a number of players at the back, with Matteo Darmian's injury putting their full-back situation in further jeopardy.

The absence of the likes of Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia means that Van Gaal has to play an extremely depleted squad in the next few games and Woodward would rather have the manager put his entire soul in getting United out of this slump than instigate question marks over his future.

The report states that there has been no contact between United and Mourinho, with the former Chelsea manager keeping his future under wraps amid massive speculation. Jorge Mendes, Mourinho's agent, manages a lot of players at Old Trafford and would initiate contact with the Portuguese man if given the go ahead.

United players are mindful of their performances in recent weeks, with Michael Carrick recently coming out in criticism of the team's performance in Europe. The midfielder's return pass led to their equaliser but the second half was one to forget for the 20-time English Champions, where they failed to fashion any proper chance to give themselves the lead.