Erik ten Hag has been left amazed by Manchester United chiefs for their failure to offer him a contract after his job interview, according to reports. The Dutchman is leading the charge to be named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement. However, he’s not the only name under consideration behind the scenes.
Manchester United hired Ralf Rangnick as Solskjaer’s interim replacement back in December but, despite his big reputation, he’s been unable to prevent the club’s season from going from bad to worse.
The Red Devils won’t be winning the Premier League title this season, while they’ve been dumped out of the FA Cup and Champions League by Middlesbrough and Atletico Madrid respectively since Rangnick’s appointment.
Earlier in the week, it emerged Ten Hag had been interviewed for the United job.
The Ajax boss is ready to leave Amsterdam in order to embark on a new challenge after five years with the club.
And, now, The Mirror say Ten Hag had been left stunned by the Red Devils’ failure to offer him a contract on the spot.
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Ten Hag met with the United hierarchy recently and assured them that time, rather than money, was what he craved in order to be a success.
Cash, it’s claimed, isn’t a problem for the Dutchman with the 52-year-old currently a major shareholder in his father’s business.
Instead, he wants to be given whatever amount of time he needs to make United the force they used to be when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.
United have been trigger-happy with their managers in recent years.
David Moyes lasted just 10 months after being named Ferguson’s replacement in 2013, while nobody from Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer has lasted longer than three years in the time since.
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Ten Hag is leading the charge to become United manager but the Glazers are planning with alternatives, too.
Mauricio Pochettino is one of them, with the club’s interest in the Argentine dating back to his time in charge of Southampton.
Pochettino could soon be available, with PSG potentially due to wield the ax following their recent Champions League exit to Real Madrid.
But he isn’t the only plan B United have in mind at the current moment in time.
Julen Lopetegui is also on the Red Devils’ radar, with the Spaniard rebuilding his career at Sevilla after a dismal time with Madrid.
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Luis Enrique is another under consideration, though he’s unlikely to leave his post as Spain manager before the World Cup later in the year.
And Roberto Mancini is a dark horse, despite the fact he’s previously managed fierce rivals Manchester City.
Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, has addressed the speculation surrounding Ten Hag at present.
And he’s insisted United must get their next managerial appointment right if they’re to close the gap on the likes of City and Liverpool in the coming years.
“It looks like Manchester United are making a move in the management area and talking to people,” he said.
“Erik ten Hag is on that list, Mauricio Pochettino as well. Listen, if it is Ten Hag then we’ve got to support him.
“But it’s a big decision, man. This is the one that changes everything at the club right now.
“This is the one that has to be the driver to the route to success, sustained success, to get the club to challenge again. It’s a huge decision man.
“This is a massive, massive appointment because we’ve been in a bad situation for far too long now. It’s about the culture of the club.
“You need someone who can put the right culture in place.”