Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: ‘Sir Jim is looking’ for next Man Utd boss as Liverpool icon blames £175m trio for failing Dutchman

Erik ten Hag is in danger of the Manchester United sack and, inset, goalkeeper Andre Onana

Erik ten Hag is in danger of the Manchester United sack and, inset, goalkeeper Andre Onana

Manchester United have been issued with a grave warning over the dangers of sacking Erik ten Hag amid claims Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made his mind up and with Liverpool legend Graeme Souness pointing the finger of blame at three players for failing the Dutchman.

It’s been a bumpy old season for Manchester United who are languishing down in eighth place in the Premier League and in danger of recording their lowest-ever points tally of 58 – they currently sit on 54 with three games left – and having already lost a record number of games so far with 13.

With title-chasing Arsenal next on the horizon that figure is in serious danger of getting a whole lot worse, though Ten Hag will expect a big reaction after seeing their season stumble to a new nadir on Monday night as they were resoundingly beaten 4-0 by a resurgent Crystal Palace.

And while the Red Devils can still win a second trophy of the Ten Hag era if they somehow rouse themselves and see off Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 27, it’s being strongly reported that new minority shareholder Ratcliffe will call time on the Dutchman’s spell in charge this summer regardless of whether they win the competition or not.

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To that end, reports that Thomas Tuchel will be the man chosen as his successor are starting to gather pace.

The German coach has dropped a major hint on his future prior to Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening and has strongly indicated a preference with returning to the Premier League amid the Manchester United rumours.

Ratcliffe on the hunt for next Man Utd manager

A thorough audit on Ten Hag’s performance as United boss is currently being undertaken by technical director Jason Wilcox but by widespread accounts, the writing is now on the wall after Monday’s hapless display at Selhurst Park.

And with Ratcliffe reportedly considering the merits of three prospective managerial targets in Tuchel, England boss Gareth Southgate and Roberto De Zerbi of Brighton, TEAMtalk has learned that the German is open to the possibility of returning to the Premier League at Old Trafford if the opportunity arose.

Either way, former United defender Gary Pallister has warned Ratcliffe that he could be making a very serious mistake axing another manager with the club in an endless cycle of trying new managers for a few seasons before dispensing of their services when things don’t go to plan.

And, speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Pallister is adamant that is indicative of more deep-rooted issues at Old Trafford.

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“We all know the script with managers and it’s a result-driven business. We’ve had a lot of defeats, but I would say is the team were great last year,” Pallister said.

“They got back into the Champions League, played some exciting football, looked solid at the back and I think he gave everyone a lot of hope. He made some really big decisions, some really tough decisions, and I think he got them all right. This season has been different.

“I know a lot of squads have suffered lots of injury problems. I’ve never known so many injuries, but I would say is, the injury crisis has proved we don’t have the strength in depth.

“There’s no backup when players get injured and we don’t have the quality to replace players. Look at Manchester City and Liverpool, they’ve got massive depth and that’s something we are lacking.”

Big-money Man Utd trio blamed for Ten Hag failures

Pallister continued: “I’m sure Sir Jim and INEOS are looking into that, to probably do some wheeling and dealing, and it will be interesting to see who stays and goes in the summer.

“And I don’t know where you’d go with the manager if you sacked Ten Hag, who are we looking at next?

“We keep changing managers every couple of years and that’s not good. Look back and it took Sir Alex four years to win a trophy, but you don’t get time like that anymore.”

Meanwhile, another ex-pro, Graeme Souness, feels the Ten Hag era will be defined by the failure of some of his own United signings.

And while the new regime plans to take that power away from the Dutchman, Liverpool icon Souness believes Ten Hag’s decision to push through the triple signings of Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Andre Onana – who cost a combined £175m – have been costly failures for Ten Hag.

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“I think Manchester United are in trouble,” Souness told the Three Up Front podcast.

“Erik ten Hag is in trouble more than most managers would be. They spent £45m on André Onana, £80m on Antony and £50m on Lisandro Martinez, all of which were Ten Hag’s signings. None of them have set the world alight at United and it wasn’t someone from upstairs buying them, it was the manager.

“Recruitment is the single biggest thing you have to get right at a football club, but over the last decade they have got a lot of the footballing decisions wrong.”