Is there one key thing that van Gaal must do to ease the pressure on him?

Will securing David de Gea’s services on a new contract ease the pressure on Manchester United head coach Louis van Gaal?

De Gea has been in contract talks with United for a number of months, but there is no indication that the Spanish stopper is any closer to a new deal.

The Manchester Evening News has long reported on the ongoing contract talks, but delays in the deal have seen interest from La Liga giants Real Madrid peak. According to the Mail, there is a desire for the 24-year-old to become the long-term replacement for Iker Casillas, and Los Blancos could be looking to make a cut-price move for him with his contract expiring at the end of next season.

It seems fairly evident that de Gea is enjoying his time at Old Trafford, but a new report yesterday in AS hinted that an exit from Manchester could be more likely than ever, with Red Devils head coach Louis van Gaal supposedly not talking to de Gea for a number of months. Despite being clear first-choice stopper, the Dutch coach has not responded to his great performances in the same way as much of the media, and this has caused discontent amongst the playing squad.

With van Gaal also coming under criticism for his sterile style of play, that has brought results by proxy rather than by any real strength, there is no doubt that pressure is starting to mount on his head. He has already been afforded more time than David Moyes was last season, but following a defeat to Swansea, patience appears to be running thin and the final weeks of this campaign could prove vital in his future.

Even with a poor finish to the campaign, it is unlikely that the former Barcelona coach will lose his job, but the pressure will keep mounting from the fans. They may have no say in the sacking of van Gaal, but it will be fairly evident from the Old Trafford atmosphere when faith has been lost in him, and there is one thing that he could do to ensure he holds off the pressure until his management of the first-team has been fixed.

De Gea is something of a local hero at Old Trafford, and reports that van Gaal has outcast him will reflect poorly on the coach. Everyone knows how important the goalkeeper is to any success the Red Devils will achieve in the coming years, and van Gaal has been criticised for his handling of the subject, choosing his ego over the future of the club.

If he could build bridges with de Gea, ensuring that the Spanish stopper signs a new deal in Manchester, the fans would start to applaud van Gaal for a change in management style for the good of the club. He would be applauded for both getting de Gea to agree the contract, as well as for his role in changing himself for the deal to go through, and the fans may get off his back - allowing him to focus all of his energies on righting the on-pitch wrongs he has made with United.

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