Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag sack: Two-way battle emerges for Man Utd boss as clock ticks down on Old Trafford tenure

Erik ten Hag Man Utd

Erik ten Hag's future remains uncertain

Erik ten Hag is reportedly in the middle of a battle between two European heavyweights as his future at Manchester United continues to be the subject of much debate.

United conclude their worst-ever Premier League season with a trip to the south coast to take on Brighton on Sunday, although could salvage some good from the bad as they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final next weekend.

At this stage, it would be more of a shock if Ten Hag remained at Old Trafford than if he stayed and that has left other clubs on alert over the Dutchman’s future.

United are well on course for their lowest finish in the Premier League era, with Ten Hag’s men currently eighth on 57 points. A draw against the Seagulls will match their lowest-ever points tally from the disastrous 2021-22 season.

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And minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to make a decision on the manager’s future after the Wembley showpiece.

There are plenty of question marks about Ten Hag’s future beyond the end of this current season, although he firmly believes that the spirit within the team remains unaffected.

“I have no doubt about this,” Ten Hag said when asked last week if he can be the man to galvanise the club moving forward.

“As human beings, in my experience that will always happen once in three months when you are not in the right attitude.

“But, mostly this team has the right spirit and they execute the rules and principles of the game even if they have to adapt in their positions.

“I can only be happy and it is a big compliment for this team that they executed all that they could and they were fighting.”

Despite the positivity that Ten Hag is trying to push, it’s fully expected that Ratcliffe will wield the axe and look for another successor to try and recapture the Sir Alex Ferguson glory years.

Ten Hag could walk straight into new club

However, it appears that Ten Hag will not be out of work for long if he is shown the door, with former clubs Bayern Munich and Ajax both ready to battle for his services.

Bayern are on the hunt for a new manager after Thomas Tuchel confirmed he would leave the club after a woeful third-placed finish this season.

Ajax, meanwhile, are also looking for a new manager, with current interim John van ‘t Schip poised to leave the club.

Fresh reports on Sunday suggest that Ten Hag will be at the centre of a ‘tug of war’ between Bayern and Ajax, with both clubs confident that he will soon depart Old Trafford.

They are also of the firm belief that he will still leave even if United produce a shock and beat City in the FA Cup final.

Tuchel, meanwhile, is being heavily tipped to make the move to Old Trafford himself having loved his time in charge of Chelsea before being sacked.

Indeed, he recently declared: “It is no secret that I loved it at Chelsea, I loved it in England, and I loved it in the Premier League for sure. It was a very, very special time in England, and I remember it very well.”

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Graham Potter is another name in the mix, with Ajax having failed to lure the former Chelsea chief to Amsterdam. Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna is also considered an outside option for the role.

Ajax made attempts to recruit another former Chelsea boss in Graham Potter, but failed in their pursuit.

Both Potter and Tuchel are among the names linked with the Manchester United job, if the club does decide to part ways with Ten Hag.