Erik ten Hag to stay as Manchester United manager

Erik ten Hag to stay as Manchester United manager

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Erik ten Hag will stay as Manchester United manager after the club’s end-of-season review culminated in a decision to keep the Dutchman — and he has agreed to remain at Old Trafford.

Following a period of major uncertainty over Ten Hag’s future, United held talks with the 54-year-old on Tuesday and the preference of both parties was for his tenure to continue.

Ten Hag’s existing United contract runs until next June, with an option to prolong by 12 months, and they will now enter negotiations about extending those terms.

After winning the FA Cup last month, defeating Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley Stadium, The Athletic reported that the club were due to conduct a review of the 2023-24 campaign — including the performance of Ten Hag.

In case a change in the dugout was to be made, United had sounded out potential replacements including ex-Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel, former Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi, recently departed Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino, Brentford head coach Thomas Frank and Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.

But at the end of a process led by United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford, the choice was made to move forward with Ten Hag.

The build-up to the FA Cup final was largely overshadowed by speculation about his position, with the manager admitting afterwards that he “didn’t know” if it was his last match in charge off the back of what he called a “rubbish” campaign.

United recorded their lowest finishing position of the Premier League era (eighth) with their points total of 60 only two better than their worst tally since the competition began in 1992. Their goal difference of minus-one was the wrong side of zero for the first time in 34 years.

They also exited the Champions League in the group stage — finishing bottom of the group — and went out of the EFL Cup in the fourth round before victory at Wembley ensured they avoided missing out on European football altogether.

After INEOS’ minority investment in the club was confirmed in February, Ratcliffe emphasised the importance of having to “walk to the right solution, not run to the wrong one”.

The new football operations hierarchy have already made a number of changes to the footballing structure at Old Trafford with Omar Berrada of Manchester City set to arrive as the club’s new chief executive in July.

They also look set to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United as their new sporting director, while they have recruited Jason Wilcox as the club’s technical director.

The FA Cup was a second trophy in as many seasons for Ten Hag since being appointed as United’s manager in 2022.

In his first season, Ten Hag finished third in the Premier League and won the EFL Cup, while United also reached the FA Cup final, where they were beaten by City.

“Two trophies in two years is not bad, three finals in two years is not bad,” he said. “If they don’t want me, then I go somewhere else to win trophies because that is what I do.”


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