Friday 6 May 2016 3:45 pm

Manchester United must pay £5m to sack Louis van Gaal at the end of the season

Manchester United must be prepared to take a £5m hit if they want to sack manager Louis van Gaal this summer.

The under-fire coach could earn up to £8m this season if he guides United into the Champions League and beats Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final, according to The Times.

Van Gaal is reported to have severance terms written into his contract requiring United to pay him 66 per cent of his existing salary unless he gets another job in football within a year.

Read more: Louis van Gaal's only hope of avoiding the sack at Manchester United is to win the FA Cup

The potential arrival of Jose Mourinho, who was on £16m a year at Chelsea, would also require the club to stump up a sizeable sum of cash.

Yet some fans eager for change in the Old Trafford dug out may argue that such a sum is a drop in the ocean to a club that is on course to generate revenue of half a billion pounds this year.

Van Gaal reportedly earns a basic annual salary of £3.1m but boosts his earnings from £1.6m in image rights, £2m in loyalty payments, a potential £1.1m for securing Champions League qualification and £400,000 for winning the FA Cup.

United are currently four points behind Manchester City in fourth with just two games remaining.

The team's failure to mount a significant title challenge, combined with a perceived lack of attacking intent in their play, has frustrated many United fans who believe Van Gaal is not up to the task.

Ahead of Saturday lunchtime's trip to Norwich, Van Gaal argued his side's chances had been scuppered by injuries.

"You have to cope with that," said the Dutchman. "That is what we have to do. But when the injuries are so much in the same position, you cannot solve every problem anymore.

"These are the facts. But you can never say that if we didn't have so many injuries that we would be first, because I have great respect for the champions, Leicester City.

"When I say we had injuries it's not respectful to the champions, and they deserve it. But you see what we have done against the top five, you can see what we have done against the bottom five, and that is not a good average."