Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag ‘confident’ he’ll remain Man Utd boss, but 53y/o coach overtakes Pochettino in replacement race

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Erik ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino and Gareth Southgate, Man Utd

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is debating whether to land a new Man Utd manager

Erik ten Hag has reportedly gone on holiday believing he will stay on as Manchester United boss, while a second managerial target has leapfrogged Mauricio Pochettino in the chase to succeed from the Dutchman.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team are conducting a full review into Ten Hag’s spell as Man Utd manager to reach a conclusion on whether he should stay in the role. Ten Hag has given himself a better chance of remaining at Old Trafford by helping Man Utd pull off a surprise FA Cup final win over rivals Manchester City, although that is not guaranteed to save him.

Sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that the former Ajax boss is still at major risk of being sacked by Ratcliffe. That is because the British billionaire is evaluating the whole of the last two years, and Man Utd finishing eighth in the Premier League this season could be a crucial factor.

As Man Utd have now qualified for the Europa League, thanks to their FA Cup triumph, it emerged on Thursday that Ratcliffe will have to pay Ten Hag a huge £9million in compensation if he axes the 54-year-old.

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According to an update from reporter Steve Bates, this is one of the reasons Ten Hag is ‘confident’ that he will not be sacked.

Ten Hag has gone on holiday with his family and firmly thinks he will still have a job at Man Utd when he returns.

However, that has not stopped speculation about Man Utd’s potential next manager. The same report adds that Pochettino and Gareth Southgate are both in the frame to replace Ten Hag, should Ratcliffe pull the trigger. Thomas Tuchel and Zinedine Zidane are admired by Man Utd, too.

It has recently been claimed that former Chelsea boss Pochettino is the leading candidate to take charge of Man Utd next.

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Pochettino’s stock had been low earlier in the 2023-24 season but a strong end to Chelsea’s campaign means he is once again being viewed positively. Although, Bates claims that Southgate has actually overtaken Pochettino and is now in pole position to fill the Old Trafford hot seat, should it become available.

While Southgate’s CV is not as impressive as Pochettino’s, as the Englishman was relegated with Middlesbrough in 2009, Man Utd chiefs believe he still has the credentials to become a big success at club level.

After all, Southgate has improved a lot as a coach since, becoming one of England’s most successful national team managers. The 53-year-old has proven he can handle the egos of England’s biggest stars in the dressing room, too.

One factor which cannot be ignored is Man Utd’s prospective capture of Dan Ashworth, who has been put on gardening leave by Newcastle United amid talks between the two clubs. Ashworth is a huge fan of Southgate after they worked together at the FA, and this could be driving Man Utd’s pursuit of the England boss.

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