Man Utd ‘top contender emerges’ with Ratcliffe ‘set to move on’ from Ten Hag this summer

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd manager
Thomas Tuchel embraces Zinedine Zidane.

According to reports, Manchester United are ‘set to move on’ from Erik ten Hag and have identified a ‘top contender’ to replace the Dutch head coach.

Ten Hag is towards the end of his second season in charge at Old Trafford. His debut campaign was a success as they finished third in the Premier League and won the Carabao Cup.

This season has been significantly worse, though. Man Utd exited the Champions League and Carabao Cup prematurely. In the Premier League, they are at risk of missing out on Europe as they sit sixth in the table with five games remaining.

Man Utd’s run in the FA Cup has been a rare saving grace for Ten Hag but he has been heavily criticised after they required penalties to beat Championship outfit Coventry City in the semi-finals despite being 3-0 in front at one stage.

INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is Man Utd’s new co-owner and it’s being widely reported that he will look to replace Ten Hag ahead of next season.

Ratcliffe ‘assessing alternative options’

A report from ESPN’s Mark Ogden claims Ratcliffe and Co. are ‘still planning for next season with Ten Hag’ but they are ‘assessing alternative options’. Regarding potential replacements, he added.

‘Sources have told ESPN that England manager Gareth Southgate is admired throughout United’s new hierarchy, but the 53-year-old has committed himself to England until the end of Euro 2024. United’s first preseason fixture kicks off just 24 hours after the final, so if England go all the way the timing works against Southgate.

‘Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton), Thomas Frank (Brentford) and Gary O’Neil (Wolverhampton Wanderers) are also under consideration, while Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel will be available as unattached managers.

‘But sources have said that the lack of a clear choice might just force Ineos to stick with the man in charge right now, despite his perceived shortcomings.’

READ MORE: Ten Hag sack after Rangnick mess? Ranking every Man Utd manager post-Sir Alex Ferguson

Despite this, Football Insider’s Pete O’Rouke is reporting that departing Bayern Munich boss Tuchel has ’emerged as the top contender’ to replace Ten Hag.

Tuchel previously did a great job at Chelsea as he helped them win the Champions League but he was unceremoniously sacked following Todd Boehly’s takeover.

The German manager has not fared as well in Germany with Bayern Munich as they have missed out on the Bundesliga title, but they have reached the Champions League semi-finals.

The report from Football Insider adds: ‘Thomas Tuchel could be the ideal fit to be the next Manchester United manager as they look set to move on from Erik ten Hag this summer.

‘Speaking on the latest edition of Football Insider’s Inside Track podcast, senior correspondent Pete O’Rourke highlighted how Tuchel could be an “interesting” appointment for the Red Devils when he leaves Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

‘O’Rourke revealed that Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi could also be in the frame to replace Ten Hag as the Italian has plenty of admirers in the boardroom at Old Trafford.

‘Football Insider revealed on 26 April that Ten Hag is under “massive pressure” at Man United and club chiefs are doing their due diligence behind the scenes over who could be their next manager.’

READ MORE: Ten Hag heading for sack as new name enters the race between underwhelming Man Utd contenders