Louis van Gaal defends Jose Mourinho despite Manchester United job issue

Louis van Gaal has told Ziggo Sport he still views Jose Mourinho as a "very sympathetic guy," despite his reservations over the manner in which his former assistant replaced him at Manchester United.

Van Gaal's two-year reign at Old Trafford came to an end in 2016 when Mourinho -- whose interest in the job had been reported midway through the Dutchman's final season -- took the reins.

Mourinho had served as Van Gaal's assistant at Barcelona between 1997 and 2000 and had been effusive in his praise for him in the past, but the Portuguese has been critical of the former Netherlands coach's work at Old Trafford on several occasions since taking charge.

However, the pair met before United's 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Saturday, with Ziggo Sport's presenter saying: "Before the game, Jose Mourinho comes up to you, shakes your hand and calls you mister, coach, the boss and says if you want to join us before the game or after in the dressing room just come over ... I didn't know what I was witnessing."

Van Gaal replied: "Remarkable, eh? He is basically a very sympathetic guy. He was like that as an assistant but also as an opponent.

"He only lets himself go sometimes in front of the media and, of course, the way I suspect he took over at Manchester and my sacking went is, for me, not very chic [classy]."

United fans chanted their appreciation for Van Gaal after the draw at Liverpool, and he said that was "beautiful."

Van Gaal led United to a top-four finish in his first season and FA Cup success in 2016.