Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, Roberto De Zerbi and Julen Lopetegui are top names likely to replace Erik ten Hag if Manchester United’s new investors decide to sack the Dutchman.
Man United have endured an awful 2023/23 campaign under Ten Hag. Pressure is seriously mounting on the Dutchman, with reports in England suggesting new investors are considering replacing the former Ajax manager as soon as possible.
United suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest at City Ground on Saturday in a Premier League match, their 14th defeat in all competitions, ending the year on an awful note.
The defeat put United in seventh place in the Premier League table, and they lost a total of 21 games in all competitions in 2023.
Despite their Boxing Day’s superb 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa, United failed to earn a result at the City Ground on Saturday.
Ten Hag is adamant he remains the right man for United and recently said he has the support of British Billionaire and CEO of INEOS Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who recently acquired a 25 per cent stake at Old Trafford.
Ratcliffe is set to take control of the club’s footballing operations reports at Old Trafford. Here are possible candidates to replace Ten Hag if the INEOS CEO decides to sack the former Ajax boss.
Zidane is one of the biggest names in the frame to replace Ten Hag if Man United decide to sack the under-pressure Dutchman.
Zidane has been linked with the United job in the past but turned down the offer but remains fans’ top choice for the Old Trafford job.
The French legend enjoyed a successful spell at Real Madrid, winning three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles for the Los Blancos, but has yet to return to management since leaving the Bernabeu in 2021.
With Ratcliffe taking control of football activities, Zidane could reconsider his decision and take the United job.
The former Chelsea manager Conte would welcome Old Trafford talks as the Italian tactician has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham last March.
His experience in the Premier League, where he helped Tottenham qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2019/20 and won the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea, would certainly return United to a title-winning side.
Roberto De Zerbi
De Zerbi, currently the manager of Brighton FC, has been impressive with the Seagulls since replacing Graham Potter in September 2022.
The 44-year-old Italian tactician has built a strong reputation, leading Brighton into Europe for the first time this season.
He still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at the Falmer Stadium but could leave if United offer the right money.
Former Spain manager Lopetegui impressed in his first campaign at Wolves, leading Wanderers to a 13th-place finish after joining when they were in the relegation zone.
Lopetegui recently claimed he wants to return to the Premier League. He has experience at a big club but lasted just 14 matches at Real Madrid in 2018.