Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested former midfielder Paul Scholes should be “more positive” in his comments about the club.
Scholes has been critical of the tactics used under Van Gaal, labelling the Red Devils “boring”, and the Dutchman believes the 41-year-old’s words could have had an adverse effect.
Van Gaal said in the Independent: “What Scholes is thinking, he has to think it. Every human being can give his opinion. I don’t bother about that – I think it is good.
“But my problem is when you create an atmosphere, a very negative atmosphere for somebody, so maybe he should be more positive.”
United lie fifth in the Barclays Premier League table, six points adrift of the top four, but their performances have led to speculation former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been lined up for the Old Trafford hotseat.
But Van Gaal is confident if that was the case, he would have been informed.
“I can only say that I have spoken with (United’s executive vice-chairman) Ed Woodward and I cannot imagine that they (Woodward and Mourinho) have spoken with each other,” the former Holland coach said.
“I think that if they speak with another manager, they would tell me because our relationship is like that. But I think that, if they want to change, they have to prepare themselves. That is also a professional attitude, in my opinion.”
He continued: “If they are thinking that they want to replace me, they have to prepare and they have to enquire – that is what I think.
“But if it is like that, they have to say it to me. And I believe they will tell me if it is like that. I not only have a strong relationship with Ed, but also with (club owners) the Glazers. I have a good feeling with the Glazers also.
“And that is why I am annoyed with all the publicity. I have been ‘sacked’ three times and now it is about negotiations starting with Jose Mourinho. The next time, it will be another (manager).”
Van Gaal said he would be willing to give his input if asked by the club about who should succeed him, however – whenever that may be.
“It is also very important for the board of Manchester United to look at the profile of the new manager,” he said. “If they ask (for a recommendation as manager), I shall give my opinion and after that, they can do what they wish.
“But I never reign beyond my grave and, when I am gone, I cannot influence or contribute.”