Ten Hag sack? Man Utd manager target rejects ‘dizzying’ €18m ‘offer’ to set up Premier League return

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd target Lopetegui
Julen Lopetegui embraces Carlo Ancelotti.

Manchester United-linked Julen Lopetegui has reportedly rejected a move offer from the Saudi Pro League as he is eyeing a return to the Premier League.

The former Real Madrid and Spain manager has been out of work since leaving Wolves at the end of last season.

Lopetegui was among the contenders to win last season’s Manager of the Year award in the Premier League as he worked wonders to save Wolves from relegation.

The respected head coach opted to leave Wolves in the summer as he butted heads with the club’s hierarchy over their recruitment.

Last month, it was reported that Lopetegui is ‘awaiting’ an ‘offer’ from Man Utd as he is eyeing an immediate return to the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag is under increasing pressure at the moment and he is the favourite to be the next Premier League manager sacked following Paul Heckingbotton’s Sheffield United exit.

The Dutchman enjoyed a strong debut season at Old Trafford but the 2023/24 campaign has been disastrous for the Red Devils.

Man Utd were prematurely dumped out of the Carabao Cup and they are also likely to be knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage. They currently sit seventh in the Premier League and face Chelsea, Bournemouth and Liverpool in the coming weeks.

Spanish outlet AS are reporting that Lopetegui ‘said no’ to a €18m offer from Al-Ittihad before they appointed Marcelo Gallardo.

Had he accepted, Lopetegui ‘would have been one of the highest-paid coaches in the world’ but ‘his roadmap at the moment is to remain linked to the Premier League and that led him to decline the dizzying Saudi proposal’.

It is said that ‘several important clubs’ are ‘thinking about Lopetegui as the head of their project’ and Man Utd are the only team mentioned in the report as a potential destination.

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During his pre-Chelsea press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Ten Hag was insistent that he is the right man to lead Man Utd.

“There will be always tough times in every journey,” Ten Hag told reporters. “We are in the right direction.

“I know we will get there where we want to be. Because – see my record.

“Everywhere where I was, every season, I got my targets, so if we stick together, stick to the plan and the strategy, we will get where we want to be.”

Asked ahead of Wednesday’s Old Trafford clash what the realistic timeframe is for getting United where they want to go, Ten Hag said: “First of all, I can’t say in this club we are waiting for two, three years.

“This club the aim is, the demand is and the standards should be that you win every game, so we go in every game with the aim.

“I demand of my team, my players to win every game. Doesn’t matter who the opponent is, and I will stick to that. That brought us last year very far.”

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