Man United, Ten Hag talks over reduced transfer role – sources

Manchester United‘s contract negotiations with Erik ten Hag will include discussions about his role in the club’s recruitment and the make-up of his coaching team, sources have told ESPN.

ESPN reported on Tuesday that Ten Hag will stay on as manager following the conclusion of United’s end-of-season review.

Following the decision, club sources have indicated to ESPN that talks to extend Ten Hag’s contract will begin, with his existing deal set to expire in 2025.

However, Ten Hag’s influence over recruitment and the structure of his coaching team will be two key topics.

The 54-year-old’s contract, signed when he arrived from Ajax in 2022 and also including a plus one option until 2026, allows him a veto on transfers both in and out.

However, new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team led by Sir Dave Brailsford are keen to hand responsibility for recruitment to dedicated staff led by incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth, technical director Jason Wilsox, chief scout Steve Brown and director of football negotiations Matt Hargreaves.

Under the new structure, Ten Hag would be allowed “a voice” on transfers but his redefined role would centre on managing and coaching a squad largely assembled for him.

Sources have told ESPN that recruitment work — led by Wilcox and Brown in the continued absence of Ashworth, who is still on gardening leave from Newcastle United — was being undertaken during United’s review and Ten Hag will be briefed on their progress now it had been confirmed he will lead the team next season.

Sources have told ESPN that talks will also take place about the make-up of Ten Hag’s coaching staff, particularly around the future of forwards coach Benni McCarthy.

McCarthy was appointed by Ten Hag in 2022, but he is out of contract this summer and there have been no discussions about a new deal.

Ten Hag would like McCarthy to stay, but sources have told ESPN that Brailsford is open to the idea of bringing in an external coach to work with assistants Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren.

Sources have told ESPN there is a feeling that an outside coaching appointment approved by Ashworth and Wilcox would help quickly implement a “club-led game model” rather than one determined solely by the manager.