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Erik ten Hag to remain Manchester United manager after four key findings from end-of-season review

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Football

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Manchester United are in talks with Erik ten Hag about a new contract after deciding that he will remain their manager for next season.

United concluded their end-of-season review by determining that Ten Hag is the right man to take them forward under the new regime led by co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos.

The 54-year-old wants to stay and has held positive talks with United about their inquest into the season. He had been left in limbo for two-and-a-half weeks after winning the FA Cup as United considered whether to sack him but they believed it was important for a new ownership to conduct as thorough an assessment as possible.

They had looked into appointing other managers, with Ratcliffe holding talks with the former Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel last week, while England manager Gareth Southgate has admirers in the Ineos hierarchy. Kieran McKenna, who decided to stay at Ipswich, was also of interest to United.

But while Ten Hag led United to their lowest-ever Premier League finish, in eighth place and a group stage exit from the Champions League, United also considered his return of two trophies in as many years as well as taking them to third in his debut campaign. Ten Hag felt their struggles last season – which he called a “horrible” campaign – were partly attributable to an injury crisis. United believed they had the most injuries in the Premier League and accepted it was a significant mitigating factor, along with the fact they had had absentees in key positions.

They hope two of the Dutchman’s signings who had slow starts, in Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund, will develop further under them and think they will benefit from having a fully-fit Mason Mount after his first year at the club was ruined.

United were conscious that many supporters wanted Ten Hag to stay and placed emphasis in the impressive manner of their FA Cup final win over Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag delivered the FA Cup for Man Utd last season

Erik ten Hag delivered the FA Cup for Man Utd last season (AP)

Ten Hag also impressed United with his work ethic and commitment to developing young players, with Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho, the FA Cup final goalscorers, two of the success stories of their season.

Ten Hag has one year left on his current deal, which was signed when he joined from Ajax in 2022 but an extended deal could make him their longest-serving manager since Sir Alex Ferguson. He was appointed by former CEO Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough, who have both left the club, but got a vote of confidence when the new regime decided to continue with him.

He will work in a structure with chief executive Omar Berrada due to start next month and Dan Ashworth on gardening leave from Newcastle but wanted to become United’s next sporting director. Jason Wilcox, who has also been hired by Ineos, has arrived as technical director while Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc have joined the board. United think Ten Hag is capable of succeeding in the revamped hierarchy.

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