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Ruud van Nistelrooy has already delivered his verdict on Jarrad Branthwaite as Manchester United reunion eyed

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Manchester United could now bring a familiar face back to Old Trafford having decided to keep hold of boss Erik ten Hag.

Speculation surrounded the future of Erik ten Hag for months as Manchester United battled through a difficult campaign.

United dropped from a third-place finish last season to an eight-placed spot this past term, leaving Ten Hag under pressure.

Ineos inherited Ten Hag and some thought that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co would want to bring in their own man this summer.

However, Ten Hag is now staying put and United can plan for the future around the Dutchman.

Most of the focus is now on potential signings to bolster Ten Hag’s squad, but we may see coaching additions as well.

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coach Ruud van Nistelrooij of PSV, Jarrad Branthwaite of PSV during the Dutch Eredivisie  match between PSV v Fortuna Sittard at the Philips Stadiu...

Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images

Manchester United target Ruud van Nistelrooy return

Ten Hag already has two key coaches around him.

Mitchell van der Gaag followed Ten Hag from Ajax to Old Trafford in 2022 whilst Steve McClaren – who previously worked with Ten Hag at FC Twente – returned to United.

Ten Hag knows and trusts both Van der Gaag and McClaren having built up relationships with the pair over many years, but there could be room for another addition.

Fabrizio Romano now reports that United have approached Ruud van Nistelrooy over a return to Old Trafford.

It’s suggested that Van Nistelrooy has been offered a spot on Ten Hag’s coaching staff ahead of the new Premier League season.

Van Nistelrooy may well fancy joining forces with compatriot Ten Hag whilst completing an emotional return to United.

The Dutchman smashed 150 goals in 219 games for United during his playing days, spending five years as the star man in Sir Alex Ferguson’s attack.

Now 47, Van Nistelrooy has turned to coaching and spent the 2022-23 season in charge of PSV Eindhoven, losing just eight times in 51 games before resigning.

Van Nistelrooy spent the past season out of the game but is now wanted at United – and he also has interest from Burnley.

The Clarets are looking towards Van Nistelrooy as a replacement for Vincent Kompany following his move to Bayern Munich.

Van Nistelrooy may now face a decision over whether to return to United as a coach or become a manager in the second tier with Burnley as he now finds himself in demand.

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Jarrad Branthwaite thrived under Van Nistelrooy

United’s move for Van Nistelrooy comes at a very interesting time.

During his time as PSV boss, Van Nistelrooy worked very closely with Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite, thanks to a loan deal.

Branthwaite excelled with PSV, established himself as a star for Everton and now finds himself at the top of United’s transfer wish list.

United have already launched a bid for Branthwaite but are yet to meet Everton’s asking price.

United will hope to eventually secure Branthwaite’s signature and Van Nistelrooy would surely approve such a deal if asked for his input.

Van Nistelrooy certainly loved working with Branthwaite and has even praised him as a ‘very complete’ defender.

“He is good on the ball, can play on the right or left of the centre because he is two-footed, has height and speed – he is a very complete defender,” said Van Nistelrooy.

That connection could be rekindled at Old Trafford moving forward, but the ball is now in Van Nistelrooy’s court as he weighs up his next move.

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