Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has blamed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward for his dismissal from Old Trafford in 2016.
The Dutchman's two-year reign was brought to an end just a day after winning the FA Cup, with the club's hierarchy deeming the Red Devils' fifth place Premier League finish to be unacceptable.
José Mourinho was named as Van Gaal's successor just days after his departure, but the blame for his exit has been solely laid at the feet of under-fire Woodward by the former Netherlands boss.
"I blame Ed Woodward, my CEO at Manchester United, much more than Mourinho," Van Gaal revealed to Een-tweetje met Yves Podcast. "In my view, Woodward is the evil genius."
Van Gaal had led United to a fourth place finish in his first season in charge, significantly improving the fortunes of the club after the disastrous short tenure of David Moyes, who was sacked just ten months into a six-year contract handed to him after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
But the failure to build upon that solid start was enough to see Van Gaal axed, with the 'Special One' picked to take over despite his previous affiliation with Chelsea.
Things could have been a lot for different for Van Gaal, though. The Dutchman went on to reveal that he almost joined Tottenham Hotspur instead, explaining how chairman Daniel Levy secretly left his house in the boot of a car as he was determined to keep negotiations between the pair quiet.
"Daniel Levy went to my house here in Noordwijk and left in the trunk, because Jack van Gelder (a local journalist) was outside", Van Gaal said.
"It took a long time and he actually gave Manchester United the opportunity to make an offer."
Van Gaal's stint at United turned out to be his final managerial role, as he confirmed his retirement in early 2019.
In his 25 years as a boss, Van Gaal helped revolutionise swashbuckling football in the 1990s, leading Ajax back to Champions League glory, also enjoying spells as Barcelona and Netherlands manager, Now he considers himself a 'pensioner', adding in a separate interview with Dutch TV show VTBL that he has no desire to become a technical director or pundit.
Source : 90min