Man Utd: ‘Preferred name’ rises to the top of five-man manager shortlist with Ten Hag ‘likely to be sacked’

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag smiles towards the camera ahead of a Premier League match.

Man Utd have made Thiago Motta their top target to replace Erik ten Hag in the summer with his job ‘still at risk’, according to reports.

The Red Devils had a positive first season under Ten Hag with the Dutchman guiding his side to an FA Cup final, Carabao Cup silverware and a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag is coming under increasing pressure

However, things have not gone to plan this term with Man Utd crashing out of Europe by finishing bottom of their Champions League group, while they are struggling to find consistency in the Premier League.

Man Utd do have a FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City over the weekend to look forward to but their 2-2 draw against Bournemouth on Saturday means that Ten Hag’s side have now won just one of their last seven Premier League fixtures.

Their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is now a distant dream with fourth-placed Aston Villa now 13 points ahead with the Red Devils having six matches to play.

Ten Hag is coming under severe pressure to turn around their fortunes with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS set to make a decision on his future at the end of the campaign.

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And now Football Transfers insists Ten Hag is now ‘likely to be sacked’ in the summer with Man Utd ready to ‘push hard for their first-choice replacement’ in the form of Bologna boss Motta.

Italian transfer specialist Rudy Galetti insists that Motta is now the “preferred name” on the Red Devils’ list of manager targets to replace Ten Hag in the summer.

“Man Utd are increasing their pressure on Motta,” Galetti wrote on X. “Ten Hag’s position is still at risk and the Bologna coach is currently the preferred name if the Dutchman will leave.

“Thiago hasn’t yet made a decision on his future: despite rumours, there is no agreement with Juventus.”

Motta reportedly one of five names on Man Utd’s list

The news on Motta comes after a report on Monday claimed that Man Utd have selected five managers to target if they decide to sack Ten Hag.

Thomas Tuchel, Antonio Conte, Roberto de Zerbi and Julen Lopetegui ‘are the coaches who have caught the attention’ of the Man Utd hierarchy, while Bologna’s Motta has also ’emerged as a strong candidate’.

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