Manchester: Manchester United manager Luis van Gaal will have to prove his mettle over the rest of the season in order to earn an extension to his contract with the former English Premier League (EPL) champions.
The EPL giants struggled at the start of the current season before consecutive victories over Liverpool and Southampton saw them climb to the second spot on the league table with 13 points from six matches.
The team's performance has not impressed the top officials at the club and although van Gaal is reportedly keen to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond 2017, his future remains uncertain.
"The manager is enjoying the challenge at the club and is willing to extend his deal to delay his retirement from the game," a Manchester United official was quoted as saying by the Daily Star on Friday.
"But the fact is he still has to convince bosses he is worth a contract extension. He won't be handed one on a plate and it is almost as if he is on trial."
According to the official, van Gaal has been told to improve on Manchester United's fourth-placed finish last season and also win a trophy this season if he wants an extension to his contract.
Van Gaal had signed a three-year deal worth 18 million pounds when he succeeded previous incumbent David Moyes last summer.
But the 64-year-old has had mixed results so far with the club struggling to regain the status it had gained under the legendary Alex Ferguson.
Despite spending more than 250 million pounds on new signings, the former European champions have been unable to establish their credentials as genuine title contenders, while they crashed to a 1-2 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in their first group match in the Champions League last week.
The beleaguered Dutchman also faces unrest within the squad with several players reportedly unhappy with his managerial approach and training methods.
There have also been fall-outs with high-profile stars like Marcos Rojo, Victor Valdes and David De Gea, while former United favourites like Rio Ferdinand have criticised him. His rigid approach has also prompted Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria to leave Old Trafford.