Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Manager ‘waiting’ for Man Utd offer as Fabrizio Romano issues key update on second target

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Julen Lopetegui, Man Utd

Julen Lopetegui could replace Erik ten Hag as Man Utd boss

There has been a double update on the search for a new Manchester United manager, with Julen Lopetegui reportedly in line to replace Erik ten Hag and Fabrizio Romano providing an update on a second target.

Ten Hag’s future is up in the air following another disappointing campaign in which Man Utd have failed to achieve Champions League qualification, while also being knocked out of the UCL and League Cup. The Red Devils could still end their season on a high by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final, although Pep Guardiola’s side got the better of them last term.

Ten Hag has attempted to dial the speculation down by insisting he expects to remain in charge at Old Trafford next season, even though Sir Jim Ratcliffe will make sweeping changes this summer.

The Athletic, meanwhile, recently reported that Ratcliffe is concerned about the cost of sacking Ten Hag and landing a replacement.

But one way Ratcliffe could save money when replacing Ten Hag is by finding a free-agent manager to join Man Utd this summer.

This is where Lopetegui comes in, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers boss who has been a free agent since leaving Molineux in August.

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As per Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Lopetegui has had a ‘nightmare’ in his talks with AC Milan and is now looking to join a different club.

The problems started when Milan supporters began a brutal ‘Nopetegui’ petition against the Spaniard, which has forced the club’s hierarchy to change their mind.

Next Man Utd manager: Lopetegui, Tuchel considered

Instead, Lopetegui is now ‘waiting’ for Ratcliffe to offer him the Man Utd job. There has already been contact Ratcliffe’s INEOS officials and Lopetegui’s camp over a potential move.

The 57-year-old is excited by the possibility of joining Man Utd and helping them to become regular title challengers once again.

While Lopetegui’s Wolves spell did not go to plan, he still remains a highly rated manager after previously taking charge of both Real Madrid and Spain. The highlight of his career came in 2020, when he helped Sevilla win the Europa League.

Man Utd are not the only club considering a move for Lopetegui, as West Ham United have also been in touch. Current boss David Moyes looks set to leave for free at the end of the season.

Another manager Man Utd are eyeing up as a potential replacement for Ten Hag is Thomas Tuchel. Like Lopetegui, he will become a free agent when he parts ways with Bayern Munich in the summer.

In his latest column for the Daily Briefing, Romano stated that the former Chelsea boss will jump at the chance to return to England, should a club like Man Utd come calling.

Thomas Tuchel is not speaking to any other club at the moment, his full focus is on the Champions League,” Romano said.

“Then of course if he leaves Bayern he’s open to considering opportunities, and I’m told he’d be more than happy to return to the Premier League one day.

“The only chance to stay at Bayern now is if the board members will ask him to do so and present a new project. Let’s see if they will do that because at this point they haven’t yet.”

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