Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘convinced’ over controversial manager swoop as shock second target emerges

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Gareth Southgate, Man Utd

Gareth Southgate could replace Erik ten Hag at Man Utd

Manchester United have made Gareth Southgate their No 1 candidate to replace Erik ten Hag as manager, while a former Liverpool target has reportedly emerged on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s radar.

Prior to the 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday, Ten Hag’s job appeared to be safe even though Man Utd have endured another disappointing season. It had emerged that Ratcliffe was unsure about spending big money to replace Ten Hag amid the club’s Profit and Sustainability concerns.

The British billionaire also felt it would be harsh to judge Ten Hag given all the changes that have been going on at Old Trafford in the last 12 months.

But the damaging defeat at Selhurst Park, and the manner in which Palace outplayed Man Utd, seems to have changed all that.

As per The Telegraph, while Ratcliffe will not swing the axe before Man Utd play in the FA Cup final on May 25, a number of players feel the Dutchman’s fate is effectively sealed already.

It seems Ratcliffe now thinks that sacking Ten Hag is the best bet to help Man Utd reach their goals, even if it puts the club close to their financial limit.

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According to Foot Mercato, Ratcliffe and his INEOS chiefs have surprisingly decided on Southgate as their ideal replacement for Ten Hag.

They are ‘convinced’ that the England boss is the right coach for the squad overhaul which is due to happen at Old Trafford over the next few transfer windows.

Next Man Utd manager: Gareth Southgate talks predicted

The situation is ‘expected to develop soon’, which suggests Man Utd are poised to open talks with Southgate’s agent.

Man Utd hope to agree a deal with Southgate ‘in the coming weeks’ so that they can announce him as Ten Hag’s successor once the Euros are finished.

Despite Ratcliffe’s admiration for the 53-year-old, it could be a move that divides Man Utd fans.

Southgate is one of England’s most successful coaches of all time, but international experience does not always equate to trophies at club level.

Plus, during his only spell at club management to date, with Middlesbrough, Southgate suffered relegation from the Premier League in the 2008-09 season.

While the former England defender is the current frontrunner to replace Ten Hag at Man Utd, he is not the only manager under consideration.

According to iNews, Ruben Amorim is also being looked at by INEOS. The Sporting Lisbon boss previously held talks over the Liverpool position before Arne Slot struck an agreement to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Amorim also rejected a move to West Ham United, forcing the Irons to prioritise talks with Julen Lopetegui instead.

Amorim may be young, at just 39 years of age, but he has enjoyed big success at Sporting. They have won two Primeira Liga titles since he took over in March 2020.

Other potential candidates include Champions League-winning boss Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, whose Ajax move is stalling.

READ MORE – Next Man Utd manager: Five Gareth Southgate alternatives analysed as Ratcliffe reflects on Ten Hag future