Man Utd: Ratcliffe confidant ‘most keen’ to keep Ten Hag; INEOS had three reasons for U-turn

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Ten Hag
Sir Dave Brailsford, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Erik ten Hag with Manchester United's badge.

According to reports, one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s close confidants was ‘most keen’ to keep Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag.

The Dutch head coach was under pressure for much of the 2023/24 campaign as Man Utd endured a difficult season. His injury-affected squad produced several dire performances as they finished eighth in the Premier League and exited the Champions League at the group stage.

Man Utd keep Ten Hag…

Their season did end on a high, though. They won their final two Premier League games and Ten Hag helped his side beat Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup final.

Since United’s win at Wembley, co-owner Ratcliffe and his new-look recruitment team have conducted an end-of-season review as they considered whether to sack Ten Hag.

It was widely reported ahead of the FA Cup final that Ten Hag would be sacked even if Man Utd beat City. Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Gareth Southgate and Kieran McKenna were among the potential successors linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Despite this, it’s emerged that Man Utd are sticking with Ten Hag and the 54-year-old is now expected to commit his future to Man Udtd by signing a new contract.

His current deal is due to expire at the end of next season, but his new contract could extend his stay at Old Trafford for another couple of years.

Ten Hag will reportedly not make it easy for Man Utd during negotiations over a new deal, as he has made ‘three demands’ to Ratcliffe and other key figures at Old Trafford.

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According to a report from The Times, INEOS head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford was ‘most keen to keep Ten Hag’.

Regarding the reasons for sticking with the head coach, the report explains.

‘The club cited several reasons why they had decided against his sacking. One was the fact that Ten Hag had to deal with a huge amount of injuries last season, which is fair.

‘They also said that the FA Cup win was a good reason to keep Ten Hag on — although if that was the case, why did Ratcliffe not name him in the statement that he released after the final, in which he said he was “very proud of the players and the staff who work tirelessly to support them”.

‘Another reason — and this is more palatable — is the fact that he has helped to develop Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho into star performers for United, both at the age of 19. It is a club that prides itself on its academy success. As a lifelong United fan, Ratcliffe knows that is the case.’

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