Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said he does not believe the club are in talks with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
With United in danger of missing out on the top four and a spot in the Champions League next season, speculation has been rife that Mourinho has already agreed to take charge at Old Trafford in 2016-17.
Van Gaal, though, insisted he has a very good relationship with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and said he cannot imagine the club would be talking to other managers without consulting him.
“I have not said that we have spoken, but he [Mourinho] is my friend, so there you go,” Van Gaal told The Independent.
“But I don’t know if Manchester United have spoken with Mourinho or not.
“I can only say that I have spoken with Ed Woodward and I cannot imagine that they have spoken with each other. 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.”
Van Gaal said the constant speculation about his job was particularly annoying for him knowing he has such a good relationship with the club’s management.
“If they are thinking that they want to replace me, they have to prepare and they have to enquire, that is what I think,” the Dutchman continued.
“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 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].”
The Dutchman admitted he was upset by some of the criticism that has come his way this season, but said he will always put himself at the front of the media to remove the heat from his players, adding any reports on his performance this term should take into account the team’s injury record.
“It is not normal that Luke Shaw is out of the game for a year, that [Antonio] Valencia, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Marcos] Rojo are also out with contact injuries,” he said.
“Last year, we had a lot of muscle injuries, but now we don’t because we adapted the intensity of the training sessions and added more recovery days to our programme.
“Contact injuries happen in any country, but we have been very unlucky this year. It is not normal that it is like that.”