‘Thank you for your congratulations’: Van Gaal defiant amid rumours of Mourinho joining Manchester United

When asked if he will be seen next season, Van Gaal adds 'I hope to see you' after winning the FA Cup.

Louis van Gaal, left, and Ryan Giggs may or may not continue at Manchester United. Paul Gilham / Getty Images
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Louis van Gaal said he had nothing to prove as a manager as the rumours about his future and the prospect of Jose Mourinho replacing him intensified.

Mourinho has long been linked with the Dutchman’s job in charge of Manchester United and not even winning the FA Cup could stop that story rearing its head on Saturday night.

No sooner had United beaten Crystal Palace 2-1 it was widely reported that Van Gaal would be replaced by Mourinho inside the next three days.

ALSO READ: If it is indeed the end for Louis van Gaal – and Ryan Giggs – it was a good one

But when speaking to BT Sport afterwards, and asked if he had needed to win the cup, Van Gaal said: “That’s not so important for me. I want to win things, titles. I have won everywhere I have worked so I don’t have to prove myself.

“When they want to use my knowledge, my management, I shall continue. We have proved today that we have a title, and that [the last title] was a long time ago.

“Also, in a period of Sir Alex Ferguson, he does not win every title.”

When asked if he will be seen next season, Van Gaal added: “I hope to see you.”

Van Gaal then arrived at his post-match news conference with the FA Cup trophy and said: “I show you the cup. I don’t discuss [my future] with the media, who already sacked me for six months.

“Which manager can do that, what I have done?”

Van Gaal departed the press conference room in sarcastic fashion, hoisting the cup aloft and saying: “Thank you for the congratulations.”

The speculation about Van Gaal’s position took the gloss off a famous day for United and in particular Lingard, the 23-year-old academy graduate, who has forced his way into the starting XI following several loan spells.

The winger settled an affair that his side had shaded in the 110th minute, fizzing a right-foot volley into the top-left corner shortly after United centre-back Chris Smalling had been sent off for two bookable offences.

Substitute Jason Puncheon had put Palace ahead in the 78th minute, slamming the ball past David de Gea from a narrow angle, but United equalised within three minutes as Marouane Fellaini chested down captain Wayne Rooney’s cross for Juan Mata to volley home.

Palace manager Alan Pardew tasted defeat in an FA Cup final for the third time, having been on the losing team when United beat the south London club in a replay in 1990 and overseen West Ham United’s loss on penalties to Liverpool in 2006.

He praised his players for playing with “heart and passion” and said that the club had conducted itself with “dignity”.

His chief complaint centred around referee Mark Clattenburg’s decision to award a first-half free kick for a foul on Connor Wickham by Smalling, rather than play advantage and allow the striker to race into the box with the ball.

“I was really disappointed with the Connor decision in particular,” Pardew said.

“Because you could see he was going to get up first and obviously the advantage was really with us. He had a free pass to Yala [Yannick Bolasie] for a tap-in. To be pulled back was really harsh.”

Pardew celebrated Puncheon’s opener by gyrating on the touchline and he said afterwards that he had got carried away in the moment.

“I enjoyed that moment,” he said. “In a cup final, as a manager it’s difficult to enjoy moments. Forgive me my dance. It’s just because I enjoyed it.”

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