Man Utd: The two ‘current frontrunners’ to replace Ten Hag revealed amid second chance suggestion

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag could be replaced by Graham Potter or Roberto De Zerbi.

Graham Potter and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi are the two ‘current frontrunners’ to replace Erik ten Hag at Man Utd in the summer, according to reports.

Ten Hag had a positive first campaign at Old Trafford with the Dutchman guiding the Red Devils to League Cup glory, an FA Cup final and a top-four finish in the Premier League.

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However, it’s not gone to plan this season as Man Utd finished bottom of their Champions League group and exited Europe, while their inconsistency has seen them drop to seventh in the Premier League.

Widespread reports indicate that new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS will judge Ten Hag at the end of the season but things are not looking good for the Dutchman.

Ratcliffe is reportedly impressed by Ten Hag’s work with bringing youth players into the team with Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho becoming regulars in the starting XI this term.

But it’s hard to ignore their terrible performances and poor results this term with Man Utd facing more shots per 90 minutes than any other side in the Premier League.

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And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano insists that INEOS and Ten Hag are currently “having positive conversations” about the Premier League club’s long-term future.

Romano told GiveMeSport: “Basically, it’s about being patient and seeing what INEOS will decide at the end of the season.

“At the moment, what Erik ten Hag is saying in public is the reality. So they’re having conversations, they’re having positive conversations about the present and future, and discussing the long-term project of Manchester United also, for the summer transfer window.

“But at the same time, INEOS like all owners in the world, want to see results on the pitch, and want to see good performances on the pitch.”

After reports yesterday that Bologna boss Thiago Motta is the ‘preferred name’ on the Red Devils’ list of manager targets, Manchester World insist that Brighton’s De Zerbi and former Chelsea boss Potter are ‘the current frontrunners for the job’.

The report claims:

‘If indeed United reach the decision that they do want to appoint a new first-team manager then they could well be too late to get their top target for the role. Not exactly in keeping with their best in class approach. Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi are understood to be the current frontrunners for the job, should it become available.

‘It is understood Ineos also admire Julian Nagelsmann but he looks poised to return to Bayern Munich following the conclusion of the European Championship campaign with Germany.’

Steve Bruce: I hope Man Utd stick with Erik ten Hag

But former Man Utd centre-back Steve Bruce reckons Ten Hag will be given a second chance next season with a new recruitment structure more important than replacing the manager.

Bruce told talkSPORT: “It certainly sounds, by his interview, that they have (a plan for Ten Hag to stay). There is certainly a plan in place above him. They have put in structures above him.

“I know people are on gardening leave but I am sure, by the summer, it will be resolved. Dan Ashworth, the new CEO (Omar Berrada), the kid from Southampton (Jason Wilcox).

“It looks as if there is a plan in place. Certainly, by the sounds of Ten Hag, he feels like he’s part of it and I genuinely hope he is given a chance under the new ownership.

“The big thing I think, for all Man United fans, is recruitment and how they improve that. There’s no doubt that they have spent a hell of a lot of money.

“However, have they got it right with the type of player you have to be to play for Man United? Man United sets the highest standards. You’re under intense scrutiny and, by the way, so is the manager.

“Everybody is judged on results. It will be interesting to see, going forward.

“Ten Hag, I hope they will go with him and put the people in place above him to drive the club forward. But they’ve got a hell of a work ahead of them.”