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Manchester United

Van Gaal's selection dilemma confirms Man United as a true meritocracy

ESPN FC's Brian McBride, Alejandro and Alexis Nunes preview Everton's match against Manchester United.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol questions if Chris Smalling is the long-term answer for Manchester United's back line after the club announced the defender's new contract through 2019.

On Sunday, Manchester United face Everton away from home, with Chelsea having recently ended their run of six successive Premier League wins. Yet, despite that 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, Louis van Gaal's team have great cause for optimism as the season draws to its close.

This is all the more apparent when looking at the equivalent fixture a year ago, when a loss led to the departure of David Moyes. Then, the club was in disarray, and the dressing-room seemed to yield a new secret each week....

Despite Smalling's extension, Man United could look to rebuild defence

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol questions if Chris Smalling is the long-term answer for Manchester United's back line after the club announced the defender's new contract through 2019.

When met with criticism from the media, Louis van Gaal has repeatedly boasted about Manchester United's defensive record this season.

"When you read the papers back from the beginning and you have seen the criticism of all our defenders, and now we are the third in the Premier League table in conceding goals," the manager said, ahead of United's 2-1 win at Liverpool.

"We never have had compliments. They have said our defenders were very lousy -- but we have the same defenders and they are still saying...

 By Kevin Palmer

Louis van Gaal 'expects' Ryan Giggs to be next Manchester United manager

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, right, says he expects assistant and United legend Ryan Giggs, left, to be his successor at the club.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that he expects Ryan Giggs to succeed him when he steps down as Old Trafford chief.

Giggs has been assistant to Van Gaal since the 63-year-old Dutchman took over as United boss last summer and while the Welshman has never managed any club on a full-time basis, it seems as if a succession plan has been put into place by the club's hierarchy.

Giggs was United's caretaker manager for the final games of last season following the sacking of David...

Louis van Gaal worried over De Gea contract delay, won't rule out exit

David de Gea has a lucrative contract in front of him. And his hesitance to sign has his manager fearing the worst.

Louis van Gaal has admitted he is worried that David de Gea's delay in signing the lucrative new contract Manchester United have offered him means he is likely to reject it.

Real Madrid target De Gea's current deal expires in 2016 and United risk either losing the goalkeeper on a free transfer next summer or being forced to sell him this year to prevent an £18 million buy departing without compensation.

The Manchester club are keen to keep the Spain international but manager Van Gaal realises...