Louis van Gaal has responded to rumours that Ryan Giggs could leave Old Trafford to take up the vacant managerial position at Premier League rivals Swansea City, insisting that he would speak to his assistant if such speculation proves to be accurate.
The Welsh outfit are currently searching for a new boss after reluctantly deciding to end club icon Garry Monk's 22-month tenure in charge following a dismal run of just one solitary win from their last 12 fixtures.
Although former Chelsea boss Avram Grant emerged as a shock contender to replace Monk as talk of a possible return for Brendan Rodgers died down, recent reports from The Independent claim that Swansea are eager to establish Giggs' future plans before potentially holding discussions over the position.
"First I have to speak to Ryan Giggs by himself if it's true," Van Gaal, who has previously touted the 42-year-old as his likely successor, was quoted as saying by The Mirror at a press conference held at United's AON training complex prior to the upcoming trip to Bournemouth. "And [in that case], he's coming to me. I never read papers and I think that it's the truth. I'm sorry."
United have endured a difficult week, with a fifth goalless draw in nine outings against West Ham last weekend followed by an eventful 3-2 loss at Wolfsburg that saw them fail to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. Such shortcomings have led to doubts regarding Van Gaal's suitability to the role, although he insists he has no doubts over his own capabilities.
"No, I don't have any doubts," he said. "You can lose and you can win in sport – you have to accept that. As a manager you have to work very hard and I am working very hard. My players are also working hard and we do everything that we can do, so the problem is that we have to meet with the expectations and the expectations at a club like Manchester United are very high."
United will be without nine senior players for their visit to Dean Court after defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling both sustained injuries in Germany. Summer signing Bastian Schweinsteiger will also be absent as he serves the first game of a three-match ban for violent conduct following his elbow on West Ham United centre-back Winston Reid.
Although the German opted not to contest his FA charge, Van Gaal is clearly not content with the outcome. He added: "It's also a little bit strange again afterwards. But the referee was whistling and talking with the two players. It's strange again but we don't have any luck, I think."