Romano: Ten Hag new contract ‘really close’ with Man Utd legend ‘tempted’ by coaching return

Jason Soutar
Erik ten Hag applauds the Man Utd fans after a match
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag applauds the fans after a match

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is “really close” to agreeing a new contract after coming close to being sacked, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Ten Hag looked set to be sacked following a disappointing season, only to lead Manchester United to FA Cup success against Manchester City last month, ending a poor second season on a high.

The Red Devils spent around two weeks following the conclusion of 2023/24 conducting an end-of-season review, with the future of their manager the hottest topic in the boardroom.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co. reportedly came to a final decision on June 11 and swiftly started negotiations over a new contract with the Dutch manager.

Ten Hag’s current deal expires next summer and talks have been taking place since the end-of-season review was concluded.

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Man Utd co-owner Ratcliffe was reported to have held talks with former Bayern Munich and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel in France earlier this month as speculation mounted over Ten Hag’s future.

The former Ajax boss had come under increasing pressure as his side lost 14 Premier League games last season.

Man Utd’s eighth-placed top-flight finish was their lowest of the Premier League era, finishing with a negative goal difference for the first time.

Their poor league form also transferred over to the Champions League, finishing bottom of a group containing Bayern, Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, winning one of their six matches.

Saying that, Ten Hag’s 57.9 per cent win rate has only been bettered by Jose Mourinho since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Romano: Ten Hag new Man Utd contract ‘really close’

And he will be rewarded with a new contract after winning two trophies in as many seasons at Old Trafford.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano spilled the beans, revealing that an agreement over an extension “is really close”.

“The agreement with Erik ten Hag on a new contract is really close,” he wrote.

“We’re just waiting for the final details, but it’s almost done, the agreement is there. Ten Hag will sign a new deal at Manchester United and will also change some members of his coaching staff.”

Romano adds that said changes to Ten Hag’s coaching staff could include Man Utd legend Ruud van Nistelrooy coming in as assistant manager.

“It is a concrete possibility to see Ruud van Nistelrooy joining United as an assistant coach – he’s really tempted by the possibility,” he added.

Van Nistelrooy – who scored 150 goals in 219 games for Man Utd – has been in talks over the Burnley head coach job but is weighing up his options.

Speaking earlier this week, Romano confirmed that the Dutchman is “keeping his options open”.

“What I’m hearing is that Ruud van Nistelrooy is very tempted by this possibility to go back to Manchester United,” he explained.

“He’s still keeping his options open, but in the last 24-48 hours, van Nistelrooy is really tempted to make this new experience as an assistant coach. So I think there’s a very good possibility.

“I think it could also not be the only addition to the Manchester United staff because there is the intention to change something.”

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