CAN Manchester United please either sack Louis van Gaal or publicly back him so we can all move on?

The circus that has surrounded the Old Trafford manager for most of the season, certainly since the turn of the year, is now bordering on farcical.

This week it was widely reported that the Dutchman had tendered his resignation following the dismal home defeat to Southampton. That turned out to be untrue.

Nobody really knows what is going on and while United remain tight-lipped on the issue and performances continue to disappoint, the speculation will only intensify.

You sense time is running out for van Gaal but United could do with making a decision and sticking with it. There is patently unease among the hierarchy or they would have already issued a staunch defence of the man they recruited to bring the good times back.

The situation is not helped by an out-of-work Jose Mourinho waiting in the shadows. But the longer this saga drags on, the more United risk their long-term stability.

Failure to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three seasons brings financial ramifications.

Hoping the tide will turn is a dangerous ploy, particularly with the unrest in the stands.

At the moment there would have to be a monumental shift to stop the fans baying for blood.

But at least by backing or sacking van Gaal, everyone would know where they stood, for good or bad.