Manchester United assessing potential ten Hag replacements – sources

Manchester United have sounded out a number of potential replacements for Erik ten Hag ahead of a decision on the Dutchman’s future following the FA Cup final, sources told ESPN.

Ten Hag’s position at Old Trafford is in serious doubt after a miserable second season in charge.

Stream LIVE: FA Cup final, Man City vs. Man United, Saturday 10a.m. ET ESPN+

United recorded their lowest ever finish in the Premier League and will need to beat Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday to qualify for Europe.

New co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team, led by Ineos director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, have taken on board information from a number of candidates who could potentially replace ten Hag.

The candidates include Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino, both free agents after leaving Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively, as well as current Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna and Brentford manager Thomas Frank. Informal discussions have been held with representatives of all four of those potential candidates, sources told ESPN.

McKenna, who has guided Ipswich back to the Premier League following back-to-back promotions after taking over in December 2021, worked as an assistant to former United managers Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and a source has told ESPN he would be excited by the opportunity to return to Old Trafford.

McKenna, 38, is also of interest to Brighton and Chelsea, but a source has told ESPN that United would likely be his first choice if he were offered the job.

Sources have told ESPN that there are members of the new football leadership team at United, installed by Ratcliffe and Brailsford, who would favour appointing a young up-and-coming coach if ten Hag is sacked rather than picking a more experienced manager.

England manager Gareth Southgate and former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter have also been linked with the role.

Ten Hag, 54, has a year left on his contract and, according to a source, turned down the opportunity to talk to Bayern Munich about their vacant manager job because of his desire to stay at United.

Ratcliffe, however, has repeatedly refused to give ten Hag any public guarantees that he will remain in charge beyond the summer. Sources have told ESPN that the decision on ten Hag’s future will be based on his two years in charge and won’t be overly influenced by the result in the cup final against City.

Sources close to Ratcliffe and Ineos insist a decision on ten Hag has not yet been made and that all options remain open.