Louis van Gaal has once again moved to dismiss rumours concerning his Manchester United future, insisting certain reports are completely without foundation.
Speculation has mounted in the past week that Jose Mourinho will replace Van Gaal at Old Trafford at the end of the season irrespective of whether United achieve a top-four Premier League finish.
The club have not made any move to deny the reports – something they were prompt to do when rumours over negotiations with Pep Guardiola emerged last month – but Van Gaal is adamant he does not require public backing against stories he considers to be false.
“I said many, many times that not all the media, but a lot of them are inventing stories. You don’t have to answer to invented stories. I agree with this policy of the club,” he told the media on Friday.
“It’s not a question for me, it’s a question for the board of Manchester United. I have a contract for three years.”
When asked if he considered reports over his future to be completely fabricated, he replied: “Yes.”
Van Gaal admitted the pressure is mounting to string together a sequence of victories in the Premier League if they are to close the six-point gap to fourth-placed Manchester City.
“We don’t have to look to our competitors, you have to win your own matches. That’s why we were so frustrated to lose two points against Chelsea,” he said, with United preparing to face Sunderland on Saturday.
“But of course we know the top four have to play against each other so it’s certain that some will lose points.
“At the end of the competition the pressure is rising, and you have to cope with that. We’re doing great from that perspective, we lost four in a row in December and the way we are playing now, you can only say we are mentally very strong and can cope with the pressure.
“But that’s not enough. We have to improve our results, our consistency. We have to win a lot of matches in a row now.”
The future of midfielder Michael Carrick has also been subject to speculation recently, but Van Gaal refused to be drawn on contract talks concerning the 34-year-old.
“I’m always involved [in discussions] because I’m the manager. I don’t discuss it with you,” he added.