Friday, June 21, 2024

Erik ten Hag frustrated over Manchester United review delay as indecision hits transfer plans

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There may be other candidates but it is becoming increasingly clear there is no outstanding first-choice should United decide to sack Ten Hag who has a year left on his current contract.

It is known that Ineos admire England manager Gareth Southgate but there is no chance that he will decide his future until the European Championship is over. Even then Southgate will be acutely aware, should he step down, that he does not want to be accused of thinking about what happens next while he is with England and is unlikely to rush into a club job. His contract with the Football Association runs until Dec 31.

The expectation remains that a decision will be taken on Ten Hag this week but, in the meantime, United are running the risk of losing precious time with their transfer plans.

Meetings were held with Ten Hag before he went on holiday over potential signings and sales – with a large number of players available for transfer – but it is understood no clear plan of action was decided.

Sources have also suggested there may be limited funds available for summer transfers given the club has overspent in the past few seasons and needs to address its finances.

Given one of Ten Hag’s frustrations with the club, under previous football director John Murtough and when the Glazer family were running it, was how slow they were in the transfer market then it appears they are potentially falling into the same trap again.

It was argued this was partly why United ended up paying significantly inflated prices for players such as Antony from Ajax who cost an astonishing £86 million and has been a failure despite Ten Hag pushing for him.

First-choice targets are yet to be decided, it appears, with centre-half, for example, a priority. There had been an expectation that Ten Hag’s future would be sorted quickly after the end of the campaign. But, to his disappointment, that has simply not happened.

The priorities for Ratcliffe and his team, beyond the manager’s future, appear to be to upgrade United’s training ground and getting the best out of the existing under-performing squad.

United are due back for pre-season training at the start of July with the club’s first pre-season friendly against Rosenborg in Trondheim, Norway, on July 15 before a tour to the United States.

New chief executive Omar Berrada will arrive that month from Manchester City but the start date for sporting director Dan Ashworth is still to be agreed. Technical director Jason Wilcox is in place and, with Ineos sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford, he has been conducting the review into the season and Ten Hag’s performance.

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