Man Utd identify ‘strong contender’ in PL to replace Ten Hag as INEOS ‘likely to look past’ Southgate

Joe Williams
Man Utd manager target Thomas Frank
Thomas Frank has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

Man Utd see Thomas Frank as a ‘strong contender’ to replace Erik ten Hag if they decide to replace the Dutchman at the end of the season, according to reports.

The Red Devils are heading towards a summer of change after Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of Man Utd from the Glazers.

Ten Hag is under severe pressure with Man Utd winning just one of their last eight league matches and currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, while they also crashed out of Europe before Christmas.

Numerous names have been linked with potentially replacing Ten Hag if INEOS make the decision to appoint a new manager with England’s Gareth Southgate and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Tuchel two of the most mentioned.

However, a report earlier today insisted that Man Utd are ‘likely to look past the England boss’ with Southgate ‘not the top Man United target with Ten Hag set to be sacked’.

And now the Daily Telegraph claim that Brentford boss Frank is a ‘strong contender’ for the position if Ten Hag is fired with the Danish coach having ‘an existing relationship with co-owners INEOS and has previously linked up with Sir Dave Brailsford, director of sport at the company, before investment in United’.

The Daily Telegraph add:

‘While Frank is “manager” at Brentford, United want a head coach to focus solely on the team, with incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth and technical director Jason Wilcox overseeing other departments such as recruitment.

‘During Frank’s time at Brentford they have become one of the most successful data-driven clubs, which has seen the former Brondby coach on the radar of other Premier League sides. He signed a new contract last season, running until 2027.

‘As reported by Telegraph Sport, United are looking for a head coach to help rebuild the club rather than a short-term fix from a proven trophy winner. Frank is among those who have yet to be tested among the elite but has shown huge potential so far in his career.’

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Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has insisted that it’s time for Man Utd and Ten Hag to part ways in the summer after an unsuccessful season.

Carragher said: “Erik ten Hag may analyse his next opponent’s first two years at the Emirates and see hope. He could certainly use it as evidence to Sir Jim Ratcliffe that demands for his dismissal are premature.

“It will shock many that across the same number of Premier League games, the Dutchman’s record is slightly better than that of [Mikel] Arteta. Arteta’s Arsenal performance levels never sank as consistently low as those of Ten Hag’s Manchester United.

“Manchester United, by contrast, made a move forward last year, but have taken several steps back since. United have been regularly outclassed by rivals, losing 6-3 against Manchester City and 7-0 to Liverpool, while struggling against mid-table Premier League teams too.

“Even when United have enjoyed good results under Ten Hag, I am genuinely struggling to recall any exceptionally good performances with a perceptively proactive system of play. Two years on, they are not set up like a top team.

“None of Arteta’s most disappointing losses were remotely comparable to the 4-0 defeat by Crystal Palace on Monday night. Worryingly for Ten Hag, the biggest difference is he is not the owner’s appointment. The Arsenal board staked their reputation on Arteta coming good. Logic suggests Ratcliffe will be more inclined to stand or fall based on his managerial pick.”

Gary Neville: I think we need to stick with Ten Hag

But, speaking on Sky Sports, Man Utd legend Neville reckons the Red Devils should “stick with Ten Hag” to see if they can recapture their form from last season.

Neville said: “Bayern Munich are struggling to find a replacement, others are struggling. I think we need to stick with Ten Hag and give him one more season – an injury-free season – to see if United can get back to the standards of last season where they won a trophy and finished in the top four. Players and managers have struggled to come to terms with Old Trafford in the last 10 years.

“These players and managers were great when United signed them, so there is something fundamentally wrong that is creating this difficulty. Maybe the new ownership and personnel will allow these players and manager to feel more stable.

“As sure as the sun will rise, Manchester United will start to win again. When that is, I don’t know. It can be no guarantee, but I know that these things go in cycles.

“I lived my whole childhood watching Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal win trophies, win the old Division One, and was patient. I had to wait until I was 18, 19 when Manchester United first won a league title in my life – and then we won a load of league titles, and now we’ve not won one for 10 years.

“I know full well that in my lifetime – hopefully – Manchester United will win trophies, but they will win trophies again. We will get it right, just as Liverpool will, just as Arsenal will.”