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CONFIRMED: Louis van Gaal leaves Manchester United

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Manchester United are officially without a manager.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Manchester have confirmed that manager Louis van Gaal is to leave the club "with immediate effect". A statement on the club's website from executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward reads:

I would like to thank Louis and his staff for their excellent work in the past two years culminating in winning a record-equalling 12th FA Cup for the club (and securing him a title in four different countries). He has behaved with great professionalism and dignity throughout his time here. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at the club wishes him all the best in the future.

You can see why it took them all day to write that thing. A decision on his successor is to be "announced soon", though if it's anybody other than a certain Portuguese tactician it will be a considerable surprise. Van Gaal has also released a statement, which is longer and actually quite sweet. Notably:

I am immensely proud to have helped United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the club's history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.

And:

I thank my players and wish them well for next season. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel. I look forward to watching the continued development of these young players next season.

It's traditional in such statements for one person or group of people to be ostentatiously omitted from the thankings, but Van Gaal appears to have covered everybody, leaving nothing for us to get exercised and speculative about. One last frustration for the press, perhaps.