New Man Utd owners urged to tread carefully with contract talks for key man as major concern highlighted
A pundit has questioned why Manchester United would offer Erik ten Hag a new contract, despite the Dutchman’s successful first season at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag had plenty of work to do when he arrived at Man Utd last summer. The Red Devils were in turmoil after finishing sixth in the Premier League the previous season under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
He was supposed to help Man Utd through a two-year consultancy role following the end of his spell as manager. But Rangnick was too outspoken about how much work needed doing to the senior squad, and this angered Man Utd chiefs.
Ten Hag’s start to life at Man Utd was troublesome, as they lost their opening league matches to Brighton and Brentford.
But overall, Man Utd have done very well under Ten Hag’s guidance. They won their first trophy since 2017 by overcoming Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final.
Man Utd sit third in the Prem standings, meaning they look set to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Plus, they remain in the Europa League and FA Cup.
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The 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool earlier this month was an obvious low point, but Ten Hag has shown he knows how to punish the Man Utd squad when they do not play at their best in big games.
The 53-year-old will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the takeover race. The Glazers have put Man Utd up for sale and three groups are vying to purchase a majority stake in the club. They are Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos, a Qatari group led by Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus, who owns XXI Century Capital.
According to Sky Sports, Elliott Management have also made an offer to buy a minority stake in Man Utd.
Man Utd contract stance receives pundit response
On March 18, the Daily Mirror revealed what the two leading parties to buy Man Utd – Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim – think about Ten Hag.
Both have been impressed by his style of play and success thus far and are therefore considering offering him a new contract, should they take control.
Ten Hag’s contract would be extended by a few more years – his current deal expires in June 2025.
However, former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor has expressed concern that this is not the right thing to do.
He believes Ten Hag needs to get Man Utd properly challenging for major honours such as the Prem title in order to earn an improved contract.
“I don’t understand the rush to give him a new deal,” Agbonlahor said during an interview with Football Insider.
“He’s just won his first trophy, they’ll be in the top four – why does that warrant a new deal? He’s got a decent amount of time left.
“If he gets Man United fighting for the Premier League title again then the contract will come. That’s where the bar needs to be set for the new owners.
“At the moment, I wouldn’t be committing to anything.”
Despite Agbonlahor’s comments, there is good reason to suggest Ten Hag has earned those fresh terms.
He has rejuvenated the Man Utd squad with some excellent transfers and is also getting the best out of some of the existing players, such as Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes.
If Man Utd back Ten Hag with some more big signings in the summer, then there is a good chance he could get them fighting Arsenal and Manchester City for next season’s league title.
Meanwhile, an important Man Utd player has revealed which two clubs he is considering playing for next.