Under-fire Louis van Gaal came out fighting after being questioned about reports Manchester United could bring in Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese continues to be linked with the Old Trafford hotseat and such talk is clearly grinding on the United manager, who hit out at reporters after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea.
Van Gaal claimed United have no need to deny the reports he could leave the club early and called his team’s display at Stamford Bridge “sparkling”.
”You have spoken with (United’s executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward?” Van Gaal asked.
”Why do they have to deny? I don’t interfere neither (sic). Why do the club have to deny it when you are creating stories. Okay, okay, so you haven’t spoken to Ed Woodward or (United’s owners) the Glazers, so you are inventing this story.
“I don’t have to answer this question.”
Addressing a reporter, he said: “You are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce the name also. (You can) look at your wife, or maybe you have children, or a nephew or something like that.
”We have to do better. We have to improve in that way. But I’m happy with the performance. It was not a ’boring’ match, so for the third time in a row it was sparkling. So I also hope to get the support of the media this week.”
Van Gaal may have bristled at the talk about his future, but Chelsea captain John Terry was more forthcoming when questioned about his.
The long-serving captain last week revealed he expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the campaign, saying there would be no “fairytale ending”.
Chelsea were quick to insist channels of communication would remain open and Terry could yet be offered a 19th season at the club, with the incoming manager likely to be given a say.
Terry addressed the subject of his future after his 698th Chelsea appearance ended in a 1-1 draw, with Diego Costa cancelling out Jesse Lingard’s opener in stoppage time.
“It’s a difficult one,” Terry told Sky Sports 1. “The club’s the most important thing.
“There’s no communication between myself and the club at the minute and I said what I had to say and that’s how it was.”
Interim boss Guus Hiddink repeated the club’s stance and insisted the Terry saga would not overshadow the season run-in, saying that “he is not focusing on this issue”.
Chelsea supporters made their feelings clear to the onlooking owner Roman Abramovich, singing “sign him up” repeatedly at Stamford Bridge, where the usual fan banners at either end of the ground were peeled back so one remained, reading: “JT Captain, Leader, Legend.”
“(The atmosphere was) incredible, they’re the best fans in the world,” Terry said.
“What they’ve done and given for me as a young 14 and 17-year-old boy... I’ll never forget. The memories will live with me forever.”