Manchester United manager to keep job


Erik ten Hag is to stay as Manchester United manager, Sky News understands.

The Dutchman has been the subject of intense speculation over his future at the club after a disappointing Premier League campaign, which saw United finish eighth.

However they beat rivals Manchester City – the Premier League champions – to win the FA Cup final in a surprise 2-1 victory at Wembley at the end of the season.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes lifts the FA Cup. Pic: PA

United have spent the past fortnight reviewing the 2023-24 campaign and overall first-team operation, leading to more questions over Ten Hag‘s position.

But United have decided the 54-year-old will stay in his post after considering all eventualities, it is understood.

Sky News sports correspondent Rob Harris said Ten Hag, who has been at the club for two seasons during which time United won the League Cup in 2023, is now in talks over a new contract.

He signed a three-year deal with United in 2022 – which is due to expire next summer – taking over from the club’s interim coach Ralf Rangnick after former coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.

Sky Sports News reported former Bayern Munich and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel held talks with United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe in France last week but was no longer under consideration for the manager role at Old Trafford.

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Man Utd ‘is a very big challenge’

While Ten Hag is aware of reports the club have been in contact with other managers, he has always wanted to stay but is realistic when it comes to expectations about his future.

Even winning the FA Cup did not end the doubts

Rob Harris

Sports correspondent


Erik ten Hag’s fate had been on the line through the lack of public backing since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS gained control of football operations at Old Trafford in February.

Even winning the FA Cup – beating Manchester City so unexpectedly last month – did not end the doubts.

The moment of glory was overshadowed by the sense Ten Hag’s job was at risk following an end-of-season review, with word spreading of candidates already being approached.

The honours’ board shows the addition of a piece of silverware – just as he could produce the League Cup at last year’s inquest into the season.

But the biggest prize in English football proved elusive – just as it has been for the five permanent managers to fill the United hotseat since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after hoisting the Premier League trophy for a 13th and final time.

Ten Hag was further than any counterpart from winning it. Eighth place was United’s lowest-ever finish in the Premier League and the worst season since 1990.

That was almost four years into Sir Alex’s reign – the Scot benefiting from patience not afforded to his successors by taking six full seasons to win his first title.

Perhaps it’s understandable Ten Hag was expected to make United more competitive sooner.

The financial firepower of Manchester City – winners of six of the last seven Premier League titles – cannot be an excuse.

After all, Ten Hag has benefited from more than £400m in new recruits.

But United finished 31 points behind Manchester City as their neighbours won a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

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Sky Sports News reported in May that Gareth Southgate was sounded out about the possibility of becoming United manager one day – but he had no interest in engaging in any conversation that was not about his job as England boss.

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Southgate is on good terms with INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford and he worked closely at the FA with incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth.

It has been reported by other media outlets that United have also been monitoring ex-Chelsea and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Brentford’s Thomas Frank and former Brighton and Chelsea head coach Graham Potter.

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