Manchester United plan on conducting more interviews after holding talks with Erik ten Hag about becoming their next permanent manager, reports say. The Red Devils are aiming to hire their new boss by the end of the campaign. Yet while the Dutchman is in pole position, he’s not the only candidate under consideration.
Manchester United are primed to hire their fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement back in 2013 as they continue to fall behind the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all struggled to meet the lofty expectations at Old Trafford, even if there were highlights under all four.
United have now interviewed Ajax boss Ten Hag, with the 52-year-old now leading the race to take over from interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
And the Daily Mail say they plan on conducting more interviews in the coming weeks ahead, with several names in the frame to take over.
Mauricio Pochettino is one of them, with the Argentine’s future at Paris Saint-Germain currently unclear in the wake of their recent Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
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However, when it comes to the former Tottenham boss, Pochettino is said to feel that he’s no longer in pole position for the job – considering it Ten Hag’s to lose.
United want to talk with Spain boss Luis Enrique, though the chances of hiring the ex-Barcelona and Roma manager are slim given the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is edging closer.
Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui is another candidate, having worked wonders at the La Liga giants ever since taking over back in 2020.
However, whether his failed stint at Real Madrid – where he failed to get the best from their A-listers after replacing Zinedine Zidane in 2018 – counts against him remains to be seen.
While that’s the case, Ten Hag now seems likely to be United’s new manager and the next person to be given the keys to Old Trafford as they look to climb up the table next time out.
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United have been linked with Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel in recent weeks, especially due to the chaos currently engulfing the Stamford Bridge outfit.
But they’re now poised to look elsewhere, conceding their chances of hiring the German are slim.
Within Ajax, they’re said to expect their manager to leave at the end of the season.
Though the Red Devils will have to hold talks with his ‘formidable agent’ Kees Vos, who previously brokered Robin van Persie’s move to the club from Arsenal back in the summer of 2012.
United will have to pay a compensation fee in the region of £4million to bring Ten Hag in, while the former Bayern Munich star is also likely to tinker with their coaching set-up.
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United are adamant there is a ‘long way to go’ in this process and there is currently no frontrunner for the post.
For now, though, Ten Hag seems to be the likelier appointment.
Speaking earlier in the month, meanwhile, United legend Gary Neville admitted Ten Hag and Pochettino were options for his old side and insisted they didn’t need a short-term appointment amid links to Carlo Ancelotti.
“They’ve been there with Jose Mourinho,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“They want to appoint either Pochettino or Ten Hag on a long-term project and they needed somebody [Rangnick] to get them to the end of the season.
“Manchester United need a longer-term approach to their manager, they always have had that. They’re not going to appoint a short-term manager again, they did that with Jose.
They went against the grain with that and they’re not going to do that again. Right or wrongly, they’re just not going to do it.
“They’re going to appoint a younger, more up-and-coming manager like Ten Hag or Pochettino. Pochettino is not young and up-and-coming but he’s certainly established himself.
“He’s at Paris Saint-Germain but there’s a bit of a danger with him because obviously Paris Saint-Germain could keep him at the end of the season so they can’t put all their eggs in one basket.
“So I suspect they’re more favouring Ten Hag at this moment in time because they can get him.”