Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag vulnerable as elite manager guns for Man Utd job and Ratcliffe sack condition emerges

Erik ten Hag knows that Champions League qualification is crucial for Man Utd

One of the world’s top managers has set his sights on managing Manchester United, while comments made by Erik ten Hag and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have hinted at what might spark a change of boss at Old Trafford.

With Ratcliffe’s partial takeover officially approved, Man Utd can begin to look to the future. A series of high profile changes have either already taken place or are in the works.

Man Utd were successful in convincing Omar Berrada to switch allegiances in Manchester. The highly regarded CEO resigned from his post at Manchester City in January ahead of replacing Richard Arnold as CEO at Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, United are moving for Newcastle sporting director, Dan Ashworth. A sizeable compensation package worth £20m may be required, though Ratcliffe believes Ashworth represents the best in class and won’t be denied easily.

But while those appointments very much relate to behind the scenes, a change in manager could also be possible.

Ten Hag has overseen four successive victories in the league, though United still sit five points off Aston Villa in the final qualification place for the Champions League.

Failure to qualify for the UCL will greatly impact Man Utd’s spending power in the upcoming summer window.

“It’s very important to play Champions League, that is clear,” admitted Ten Hag a fortnight ago.

“We don’t even have to discuss this. What exactly is the impact in this moment? I don’t know.

“You have more financial power when you achieve the Champions League and that is our target, absolutely.”

Furthermore, Ratcliffe himself has also publicly stated UCL qualification is a clear short-term target for the club.

“It has clearly been a difficult 11 years since Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill retired,” said Ratcliffe.

“It’s not switching a light switch. It’s not just a simple short-term fix. We have to walk to the right solution, not run to the wrong one. The short-term issue is we want to get into the Champions League.

“It’s a two-to-three-season challenge to get the organisation and environment right, to get the performances on the field right and win football matches. That involves the design and structure of the organisation being correct.”

It’s been widely speculated Ten Hag’s position could be in serious jeopardy if United fail to qualify for next season’s UCL.

Fifth position may turn out to be good enough to do just that given the competition’s expanded format next season. However, with English clubs currently struggling in Europe, the two extra spots as it stands would go to Serie A and the Bundesliga.

Elite manager wants to manage Man Utd

Now, according to reports from the Telegraph and Sky Germany, Ten Hag has an elite-level manager gunning for his job.

Both state departing Bayern Munich boss, Thomas Tuchel, wants to manage Man Utd.

Tuchel, 50, will leave Bayern at season’s end amid the club’s remarkable decline this season. With Bayer Leverkusen streaking away in the Bundesliga and Bayern a goal down to Lazio at the half way mark in the UCL Round of 16, Bayern could go trophyless for the first time since the 2011/12 season.

However, the Telegraph stress Tuchel remains highly regarded in England through his stellar work at Chelsea and the current issues at Bayern reflect more on the underlying issues at the club – such as out of control player power – rather than Tuchel.

Tuchel lifted the Champions League with Chelsea just a few years ago in 2021 when upsetting Man City in the final. He also guided the Blues to the finals of both the League Cup and FA Cup.

Furthermore, Tuchel earned rave reviews for his stewardship of Chelsea during a difficult time towards the end of Roman Abramovich’s reign.

The Telegraph stated Tuchel hopes to return to England and named Man Utd specifically. Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg took it a step further when taking to X.

Tuchel coming for Ten Hag

Plettenberg wrote: “Tuchel definitely taking a look at Manchester United.

“As reported in our show a few days ago and now confirmed again Man Utd appeals to him in the Premier League.

“Tuchel can well imagine coaching Man Utd someday. He doesn’t see his mission in the Premier League as completed yet.”

Barcelona are another club of interest to the German. A vacancy there will soon open up when Xavi departs at season’s end.

However, England and specifically Old Trafford appear to be Tuchel’s preferred destination. Whether he gets that opportunity could hinge on whether Ten Hag can guide his United side into the top four.

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