Man Utd conduct first formal manager interview, leading to ‘growing suspicion’ in Pochettino camp

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik Ten Hag

Manchester United interviewed Ajax manager Erik ten Hag on Monday over becoming their new permanent coach, a report has claimed.

The Red Devils’ priority hopes are of sealing a top-four Premier League finish this season. Following patchy form all campaign, securing Champions League football for next term will prove crucial.

Indeed, Man Utd are looking towards another big change of manager for next season. Ralf Rangnick’s interim post is coming to an end and the Old Trafford club have stepped up plans to find his successor.

Dutchman Ten Hag has emerged as one of the leading contenders on United’s list of candidates.

And according to the Daily Mail, the 52-year-old had his interview with Red Devils bosses on Monday.

The newspaper does not provide any details of how the discussions went. Instead, United sources were reportedly keen to keep the links with Ten Hag in check.

At this stage, United’s stance is that they have just ticked one manager off their list and will get round to their other candidates.

Football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher only started a manager research process at the start of March.

Eric Ten Hag learning English preparing for Manchester United job

Ajax manager Eric Ten Hag is learning English as his interest in the Manchester United job grows

As such, initial conversations have led to the first formal interview. However, United only plan to make a final decision at the end of April. From there, they hope to have a deal in place as soon as possible after the season finishes.

Despite the caution over the Ten Hag speculation from United, the Daily Mail adds that Pochettino’s camp have been quick to react to the developments.

In fact, there is supposedly a ‘growing suspicion’ that Ten Hag has the Man Utd job in his grasp as it stands.

Pochettino is reportedly facing the sack at PSG following their shock Champions League exit to Real Madrid. Links with a move back to Tottenham remain for the Argentine.

Ten Hag or Pochettino for Man Utd

Erik ten Hag Ajax March 2022

Ten Hag and Pochettino are the leading candidates for the Old Trafford job.

Both would come with their own ideas, but Pochettino has the experience of coaching in the Premier League.

While he ultimately failed to win any silverware at Spurs, he would come with the know-how of winning games in the top flight.

Ten Hag, meanwhile, has never managed in the Premier League.

Still, he has impressed United bosses in his time with Ajax on two fronts. Not only has he led the club to two Eredivisie titles, the Dutch giants got to the Champions League semi-finals under his management.

What’s more, he has rebuilt his squad despite sanctioning major sales. Indeed, the team that advanced in the Champions League featured the likes of Donny van de Beek, Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.