Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Manchester United trio in limbo, as Erik ten Hag urged to make key future decisions

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag Ajax Nico Tagliafico May 2022

New Manchester Unted boss Erik ten Hag has been urged by club officials to make future decisions on three players at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag has not yet officially started as Manchester United manager, but he has taken charge of his final Ajax game. He waved goodbye to the fans in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Vitesse, with the Eredivisie title already in the bag.

The 52-year-old’s focus is now firmly on Old Trafford after confirming he will not travel on Ajax’s post-season trip to Curacao.

“There’s a lot of work to be done there [at United]. Of course,” said Ten Hag. “There’s a lot of work at every club. A manager’s job is especially focused on the preparations for next season. And there’s a lot of work to be done in that regard.”

Ten Hag is trying to finalise his backroom staff. But he is also focused on revamping a squad which could finish seventh.

There will be plenty of player movement with Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba all leaving on free transfers.

Ten Hag is already planning incomings at United and he is understood to be open to signing free agents.

But he also has some big decisions regarding a number of existing players at the club.

Talks with club officials in Holland last week left Ten Hag with decisions to make over three players.

Fabrizio Romano told Caughtoffside that John Murtough is keen for the new boss to make decisions over Marcus Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Eric Bailly.

All three remain contracted to the club, but the trio have had seasons to forget.

Marcus Rashford struggling

Rashford’s form has been well below par, but his deal expires in 2023, with a 12-month option.


Wan-Bissaka has fallen out of favour under Ralf Rangnick, but he is contracted until 2024, with a year’s extension option.

The defender has been linked with a return to Crystal Palace and United want to know Ten Hag’s thoughts.

Bailly, who has made four Premier League appearances this season, is also in a similar contractual position to Wan-Bissaka.

“Erik ten Hag had a meeting with part of the Manchester United board last week, this is confirmed,” Romano said. “It happened in Amsterdam, and now he’s planning to fly to England this week to begin internal discussions but Ralf Rangnick will be in charge for United’s last game vs Crystal Palace.

“In the meeting, there was talk of players already in the club, potential new signings and contracts, but also the backroom staff which will include Mitchell van der Gaag as requested by ten Hag.

Frenkie de Jong wanted by Erik ten Hag

“Manchester United want a decision from ten Hag soon over Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and also Marcus Rashford, while Frenkie de Jong is certainly a name that has been discussed internally.”

Barcelona star De Jong has been heavily linked with United. And Barca boss Xavi has admitted that finances could see the valued midfielder leave this summer.

“De Jong has been on Ten Hag’s list for some time. They worked well together at Ajax, and the manager loves Frenkie. But the player’s priority is to play Champions League football next season,” added Romano.

“It won’t be easy for United either because Barcelona want at least €80-85m to sell De Jong. Xavi will do everything to keep him but it will depend on the financial situation of the club.

“We know there have been issues there recently, so that could mean further sales after Philippe Coutinho’s loan to Aston Villa was made permanent. We are still at the early stages, so keep an eye out.”

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