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Erik ten Hag reveals Manchester United talks over future and the ‘luxury problem’ for FA Cup final

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Football

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Erik ten Hag has insisted he has no concerns about his future and has said he will go on a hard-earned holiday on Sunday – after already holding talks with Manchester United’s owners to review what he admitted was a “horrible” season.

The Dutchman has shrugged off questions if Saturday’s FA Cup final will be his final game in charge by revealing he has sat down with the new hierarchy at Old Trafford to discuss what went wrong this year.

“We already did and on Sunday I will go on holiday,” he said. “I think I deserve it.”

Ten Hag is adamant United have improved considerably on his watch, despite recording their lowest-ever Premier League finish, and is looking forward to a break.

Since Sir Jim Ratcliffe became co-owner, Ineos have brought change to the top of United with Omar Berrada set to arrive as chief executive, Jason Wilcox joining as technical director and Dan Ashworth targeted to become sporting director.

Senior figures, including football director John Murtough, interim CEO Patrick Stewart and chief financial officer Cliff Baty, have left the club, meaning Ten Hag is a rare survivor from the old regime.

But he believes lifting the FA Cup would support his case that United are making progress under him.

He added: “We will be in a very different place if we win on Saturday because we will be in Europe and we will have another trophy. But still, three finals in two seasons is very good, I would say, because this club when I entered it was not in a good state, absolutely not. I think we improved a lot and even when you consider all the injuries we’ve had, it’s a horrible season for us.”

Now, after injury problems all season, Ten Hag has the luxury of choice at centre-back with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans all fit.

Erik ten Hag will try to galvanise Manchester United to an FA Cup final shock

Erik ten Hag will try to galvanise Manchester United to an FA Cup final shock (Manchester United via Getty Imag)

However, the Argentinian has only made one start since February while his fellow World Cup winner Varane, who will leave United after the FA Cup final, has only played 21 minutes in the last seven weeks, leaving Ten Hag with questions if they can cope with the whole game.

“That is what they have to manage,” he said. “We have some options there, I have now got a luxury problem. Apart from Harry Maguire, I now have all the centre-halves fit, so we will pick, but also I know that not all the players available will be fit for 90 minutes, or even for 120 minutes, so we need all the centre-halves available.”

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