RUMOURS: Mourinho could replace Van Gaal before Arsenal match

Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Sunderland leaves Manchester United in a dire position in the Champions League race and reportedly could force the club's board to act quickly

Louis van Gaal could be sacked by Manchester United and replaced by Jose Mourinho before the end of February, according to The Sun.

A shock 2-1 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday leaves the Red Devils in with a slim chance of finishing in the top four this term, with the Europa League their only other possible route to the Champions League next season.

Mourinho has been strongly linked with the United job despite reported divisions within the club over whether he is suited to the club's traditions.

With the situation as dire as ever, the report claims the Old Trafford hierarchy could be set to pull the plug on Van Gaal's reign and bring Mourinho in now - with a clash against Arsenal looming on February 28.