Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: Man Utd axe ‘certain’ as pundit claims ‘major conversations’ are taking place over successor

Erik Ten Hag faces the Manchester United sack, per a Dutch pundit

Erik Ten Hag faces the Man Utd sack, per a Dutch pundit

Erik ten Hag has been told it is “certain” Manchester United will sack him this summer with discussions very much underway with a new coach, according to one observer, who also has a warning to the Dutchman over his next potential job.

The 54-year-old was appointed Manchester United manager in summer 2022 and oversaw a progressive first season at the helm with the club finishing third in the Premier League and reaching two domestic cup finals. However, little has gone right during Ten Hag‘s second season at the helm, with the Red Devils very much underperforming and highly unlikely to seal a place in next season’s Champions League.

Indeed, with Liverpool and West Ham both suffering Europa League defeats on Thursday, England’s co-efficient in UEFA’s points-ranking system has taken a huge dent, meaning an additional Champions League place, at this stage, looks more likely to go to both Germany and Italy next season.

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And with United learning that they will likely need to finish fourth to return to the UCL, their 11-point deficit to Tottenham now looks a near-impossible tally to overhaul.

And while United can still reach a second successive FA Cup final if they overcome Championship outfit Coventry next Sunday, it is their Premier League position by which Ten Hag will likely be judged.

Indeed, TEAMtalk exclusively broke the news in March that many at Old Trafford believe Ten Hag will be axed by the club come the end of the season. Since our report aired, a number of copycat articles have emerged, with the Daily Mail, the Manchester United Evening News and, most recently, The Sun, all claiming the Dutchman fears he is a deadman walking.

Ten Hag sack: Dutchman told it’s certain Man Utd will dismiss him

Certainly the stats do not bode well for Ten Hag. They conceded a whopping 28 efforts on their goal in last week’s staggering 4-3 loss at Chelsea, and while they bounced back by recording a 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool, it has since emerged that the Red Devils have allowed the Merseysiders a total of 90 shots at them during their three encounters this season.

With United’s midfield going AWOL and with their tactics coming in for widespread condemnation, Gary Neville claimed after the draw that it was “the type of performance that can get a manager sacked”.

As a result, speculation has arisen as to whom could take charge if the axe were to fall, with both Graham Potter and Gareth Southgate both having favour among the new United hierarchy.

Indeed, TEAMtalk sources understand that England coach Southgate would be very much open to the role if offered if, despite his public denials.

Potter, meanwhile, remains a contender after he recently rejected the opportunity to take charge of Dutch giants Ajax at the end of the season.

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Either way, Dutch pundit Marciano Vink claims it is ‘certain’ that United chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is looking for a successor to Ten Hag and that conversations are being held over a would-be successor.

“What is certain: United are very much looking for a new coach,” Vink told ESPN.

And while Vink has not disclosed where he has got the news, he is adamant they are doing their due dilligence into a would-be successor. “…they are orientating and also having conversations. They are busy,” he added.

Ten Hag sent warning over return to Ajax

If Ten Hag is dismissed by Manchester United strong rumours have talked up a return to his former club, Ajax.

The Amsterdam giants are looking for a new coach in the wake of a hugely-underwhelming season that currently sees them sat in a disappointing sixth place.

And with Potter rejecting the vacancy, Ten Hag has been touted for the job alongside Liverpool No 2 Pep Ljinders and Arsenal assistant boss Albert Steivenberg.

However, Vink strongly advises against a return, adding: No, you should never do that.

“A trainer is in a certain category. You go from the top of the Netherlands to abroad. In that category you can take a step sideways. But I find a return to Ajax, the club where you come from, a bit difficult.”

His fellow pundit Kees Kwakman also reckons a return to the Johan Cruyff ArenA would also be a step back for Ten Hag and actually thinks a surprise move to Bayern Munich – themselves looking for a new coach with Thomas Tuchel leaving – could be on the cards.

“[He should not return to Amsterdamn]… Especially when you look at what’s going on at Ajax, Kwakman said, before adding: “Bayern Munich… he has a past there. Once you are in a certain category A manager, there is always confidence [you can land another top job].”

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