Irritated top-flight manager shuts down Man Utd links but admits his work is being noticed
Ralph Hasenhuttl has again distanced himself from taking over at Manchester United after his spell as Southampton manager.
The 54-year-old has reportedly received admiring glances from Old Trafford following his work at St Mary’s. He has taken charge of 126 Premier League games on the south coast, going through good and bad periods.
Indeed, Southampton’s best finish under Hasenhuttl was 11th in the 2019/20 season. During that campaign, though, the Saints lost 9-0 to Leicester – one of two such defeats their current manager has overseen.
Overall, though, Man Utd chiefs have felt impressed and added Hasenhuttl to a list of candidates including Mauricio Pochettino, Ajax Erik ten Hag and Luis Enrique.
The Austrian revealed earlier this year that he is considering retiring from coaching at the end of his Southampton contract in 2024. However, reports have claimed that he would ‘jump’ at the chance to manage Man Utd.
Asked about the links on Wednesday, Hasenhuttl said (via the Manchester Evening News): “If I discuss every list I have been on in the last two months I would not have time for working or doing my job.
“The only thing I can say is it shows we don’t do everything wrong here. That’s it. I’ve got no more to say.”
Pochettino has long been seen as Man Utd’s leading candidate to replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick. However, United have removed that status from the Argentine amid concerns over his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
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Dutchman Ten Hag has impressed at Ajax. He has led the club to Eredivisie glory and the Champions League semi-finals.
However, he has been warned that Man Utd are a “different animal” to Ajax.
Nevertheless, pundits such as Gary Neville and Roy Keane have urged United to act sooner rather than later.
Indeed, the Red Devils are facing arguably their most crucial period of transition yet – one of many since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
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The new manager will become United’s fifth permanent appointment since Ferguson left.
Only Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have managed to win silverware. Overall, though, none of the managers have restored the club to former heights.
There is subsequently pressure for United’s first trophy since the Europa League in 2017.
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As well as that, though, major changes are afoot in the squad. Four players including Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba are increasingly likely to leave as free agents in the summer.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils are supposedly after a new centre-back, a defensive midfielder and a striker.