• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Fresh uncertainty clouds Ten Hag’s future at Manchester United

Erik ten Hag (2)

Fresh uncertainty clouds Ten Hag’s future at Manchester United

Anthony Nlebem

According to reports in England, embattled Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, has been given no assurance he will remain at Old Trafford beyond the 2023/24 season.

The pressure on the Dutch tactician was intensified with Sunday’s 3-1 derby defeat at Manchester City, which has left United in sixth position, 11 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, with 11 games left.

Now, Ten Hag’s future depends on whether he can secure Champions League football for the Red Devils next season.

That is looking very unlikely looking at the team’s recent form and the Old Trafford board led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe who recently completed a 25 per cent stake at the club has been on the look for a new manager.

Representatives of various managers are reportedly positioning their clients as potential candidates for the Old Trafford managerial role should Ten Hag, who has one more season left on his contract, face dismissal at the end of the season.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his position, Ten Hag is said to have engaged in positive discussions with Ratcliffe and his associate Sir Dave Brailsford.

It’s understood that Ten Hag, Ratcliffe, and Brailsford share alignment in their long-term strategy for United.

However, the Dutchman recognizes that securing his position hinges on achieving success on the pitch. While Ten Hag has been collaborating with United’s football operations team on transfer targets and planning the pre-season tour of the US, his continuation as manager for the next season remains uncertain.

This summer sees several prominent managerial positions available, including Liverpool, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich, potentially adding United to the list should they part ways with Ten Hag after his two-year tenure.

While Man United has not initiated formal discussions with potential replacements for Ten Hag, it would be prudent for the club to have contingency plans in place if a managerial change becomes necessary.

Ratcliffe and his INEOS team have already initiated significant changes in personnel on the football side, appointing Omar Berrada from Manchester City as their new CEO. Meanwhile, Dan Ashworth has been put on gardening leave by Newcastle after United identified him as their preferred candidate for the role of sporting director.

The outcome of United’s next two matches could significantly impact Ten Hag’s future. Their upcoming Premier League fixture against Everton on Saturday is seen as crucial in their unlikely pursuit of a top-four finish. This is followed by an FA Cup quarter-final clash against arch-rivals Liverpool on March 17, representing United’s final opportunity to clinch a trophy this season.