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Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘is analysing replacements for Erik ten Hag’ with new Man United part-owner ‘not completely sold’ on under-fire manager… and a Premier League rival ‘of interest’ to replace him

Erik ten Hag's position is once again under pressure following a dismal 2-1 defeat by Fulham on Saturday
  • Erik ten Hag’s side lost their 15th game of the season against Fulham on Saturday
  • Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion investment into Red Devils finally went through last week 
  • Manchester United’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe can rebuild the stadium, build a museum… but they should pay for it – It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Erik ten Hag’s position as Manchester United manager looks increasingly uncertain as potential replacements for the Dutchman have been evaluated, according to reports. 

The Red Devils boss saw his side lose in the Premier League for the 10th time this season; a 2-1 home defeat to Fulham that left them eight points behind Aston Villa in fourth place. 

Following a positive first campaign, Ten Hag faced intense pressure when the side were dumped out of Europe after finishing bottom of their Champions League group. His team also suffered a crushing 3-0 home defeat in the Carabao Cup by Newcastle amid a series of underwhelming performances in the first half the campaign. 

However, the manager and his squad appeared to have turned a corner and were riding a four-game winning streak before the Cottagers came to town. That sequence included impressive wins at Villa Park and the dramatic late victory away at Wolves. 

But according to the Manchester Evening News, the former Ajax boss may already be on borrowed time as new minority investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe seeks to address the club’s multitude of sporting issues. 

Erik ten Hag’s position is once again under pressure following a dismal 2-1 defeat by Fulham on Saturday

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already begun to make big changes to key positions at the club following his investment

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already begun to make big changes to key positions at the club following his investment 

Man United suffered their eighth home defeat of the campaign - one shy of their single-season record

Man United suffered their eighth home defeat of the campaign – one shy of their single-season record

The report claims that the INEOS chief is ‘not completely sold’ on Ten Hag and that individuals at the club accept there is ‘noise’ around his position.

In comments last week, Ten Hag was confident he retained the backing of Ratcliffe after the billionaire refused to discuss his future during interviews upon the completion of his £1.3bn investment. 

Ratcliffe had instead suggested that a succession of failed managerial appointments since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 was an indication that the ‘environment’ is to blame.

‘We have so many talks, we are very aligned, we have the same ambition, we are very aligned in the process.’ Ten Hag said ahead of the Fulham loss on Friday. ‘We speak a lot.

‘We are very aligned. It totally fits with ambitions I have, and the ambitions I had when I came in. I’m 19 months in and I see we are going in the right direction.

‘We have had setbacks in the second season but you see the team coming. It’s important to have players fit but also to construct the squad. We will be strong and we will be even stronger when we add to this squad even more qualities.’

The 54-year-old admitted that Champions League qualification this term will be vital in ensuring he retains the support he believes he enjoys. United’s eighth home defeat of the season – one shy of their single-season record – did little to help that aim. 

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, who has also been linked with the Liverpool job at the end of the season, is believed to be of interest to United. The Italian has also been one of the frontrunners rumoured to replace Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Ratcliffe has wasted no time instituting changes into an organisation he said was ‘not good’ and a culture he damningly concluded was not geared to succeed. 

Omar Berrada will join as chief executive having been poached from rivals Man City, while talks are ongoing to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United as sporting director.

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly of interest to Ratcliffe and INEOS for the United position

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly of interest to Ratcliffe and INEOS for the United position

Manchester United could have to spend £20million to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle

Manchester United could have to spend £20million to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle 

Newcastle confirmed last week that Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave as the two clubs haggle over a compensation fee.

United have also been linked with Southampton’s director of football Jason Wilcox, also formerly of Man City, who would be expected to work with Ashworth in overseeing recruitment.

The club’s only remaining chance to claim silverware this season comes in the FA Cup, where they will meet Nottingham Forest in the fifth round at the City Ground on Wednesday night. 

Ten Hag’s side suffered a 2-1 league defeat against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in December. The tricky tie is followed up by the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon. 

Erik ten HagPremier League




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