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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Louis van Gaal out as Manchester United manager

Manchester United have confirmed that Louis van Gaal has left the club after two years in charge at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal's exit comes despite Saturday's FA Cup success, with sources telling ESPN FC that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will take over at Old Trafford.

Sources have also told ESPN FC that Van Gaal's assistant, Ryan Giggs, is considering his future as he is set to be offered a different role.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said in the club's statement: "I would like to thank Louis and his staff for their excellent work in the past two years culminating in winning a record-equalling 12th FA Cup for the club [and securing him a title in four different countries].

"He has behaved with great professionalism and dignity throughout his time here. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future."

In a statement of his own, Van Gaal called his time at the club "an honour." 

Van Gaal said: "It has been an honour to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long-held ambition.

"I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club's history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.

"I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan. I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success.

"I hope that winning the FA Cup will give the club a platform to build upon next season to restore the success that this passionate set of fans desire.

"Having managed in Holland, Spain and Germany, I had always hoped for the opportunity to manage in English football and be part of English culture. Both of these experiences have lived up to expectations and been fantastic.

"I thank my players and wish them well for next season. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel. I look forward to watching the continued development of these young players next season.

"Thank you to the owners and board of Manchester United for giving me the opportunity to manage this great club.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to the amazing United supporters. They are truly the best fans in the world.

"I am indebted to my support and coaching staff, who have given me their all during their time at the club.

"I am deeply grateful to each and every member of the club's staff - the sports science team, the medical team, the kit and laundry department, club administration, the press office, the manager's team, the Academy team, ground staff and the catering team, both at Old Trafford stadium and Carrington training ground, all of whom have given me their unwavering support in my time at United. Never in my 25 years as a manager have I been so well supported in my role.

"Finally, my special thanks go to Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton for always making me and my family feel so welcome throughout my time as Manchester United manager.''

The 64-year-old Dutchman has been under pressure all season after a campaign that saw United finish fifth in the Premier League, crash out of the Champions League in the group stage and exit the Europa League with a loss to Liverpool in the round of 16.

Success in the FA Cup against Crystal Palace was scant consolation for a club used to challenging at the highest level and United have now parted company with the Dutchman after winning just 19 of their 38 games in the league.

Van Gaal took charge of United in 2014 after leading Netherlands to third place at that summer's World Cup but, despite guiding the Old Trafford club back into the Champions League with a fourth-place finish last season, there had been growing concerns over both results and the club's style of play.

He had hinted after Boxing Day's 2-0 loss against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium that he could resign from the role at Old Trafford, while sources told ESPN FC that club officials had been hoping that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss would quit following the shock 2-1 home defeat to Norwich City in their last match before Christmas, but he did not.

United had the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League with Tottenham, conceding just 35 goals, but their haul of 49 scored is only one more than 17th-placed Sunderland. They also scored five fewer goals (27) at home than relegated Newcastle managed.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho is confident of securing the job following his departure from Chelsea and that discussions have taken place between United representatives and Mourinho's camp

United are now looking for their third full-time manager since Sir Alex Ferguson's historic reign at the club ended with his retirement in 2013. David Moyes lasted less than a season as successor to his fellow Scot, with Giggs taking interim charge of the final four matches of the 2013-14 campaign before becoming Van Gaal's full-time assistant.

ESPN FC correspondent Miguel Delaney contributed to this report.

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