Andy Gray believes the Manchester United board do not want Jose Mourinho to take over at Old Trafford, with the club happy to stick with Louis Van Gaal.

Van Gaal is under tremendous pressure at Manchester United, following a spell of eight games without a win. Manchester United are well off the pace for the title at the moment, and it looks like a top-four finish, while well within their reach, will not be a foregone conclusion either.

After Mourinho was fired by Chelsea, reports suggested the Portuguese was being lined up to replace Van Gaal, but according to Gray, a former Everton player and commentator, that might not be the case.

"I don't get the impression coming from the inner sanctum at Old Trafford that they are looking to get rid of Louis van Gaal unless they really, really have to do because of pressure from the fans," Gray told TalkSport.

"And I get the impression they don't want Mourinho.

"Jose Mourinho has been available for two weeks and, after that awful performance at the Britannia, if they really wanted Jose Mourinho that was the perfect opportunity for Manchester United to go ahead and get him."

Van Gaal took offence to suggestions he had lost the faith of the players, even storming out of a press conference before the game against Chelsea to make his point. Manchester United certainly showed signs of life in the 0-0 draw against the Blues on Monday, with the Red Devils quite unlucky not to come away from that English Premier League game with a victory.

Chris Smalling, one of the players to visibly improve under Van Gaal, rubbished the reports which said the players were not behind their manager, insisting everyone at the club was doing everything possible to turn the team's fortunes around.

"To say we're not playing for the manager is silly," Smalling was quoted as saying by Teamtalk. "If anything we are all playing for our own futures as well, so there's not a case of no one not playing for the manager.

"And every week we want to go out there and show everyone what a good team we are. No matter what, whether it is good or bad, this club is always in the spotlight, and we've rolled our sleeves up, worked hard on the training field and had to make sure that we regrouped, especially after that loss against Stoke, so against Chelsea we stood up and showed that we were the better team, albeit we didn't get the win."