Ten Hag fears Man United sacking despite FA Cup win – source

Erik ten Hag believes he could still be sacked by Manchester United despite winning the FA Cup, a source has told ESPN.

Ten Hag led his team to a surprise 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. But the Dutchman, who began a holiday on Sunday still in the dark about his future, remains concerned that he will be axed once club chiefs hold their end-of-season review.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

A source has told ESPN that the review is due to begin this week. Other reviews Brailsford has led in other sports have typically taken around four days to complete.

Co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford and new technical director Jason Wilcox are committed to assessing every aspect of United’s season, including Ten Hag’s performance and his future.

Club sources told ESPN a final decision on the manager has not yet been made and will not concluded until the conclusion of the review.

Sources have told ESPN that final a decision will be based on on-field performance but also on whether Ten Hag will fit into the club’s new leadership structure, including accepting a reduced role in player recruitment.

Ten Hag wants to stay and has one year left on his contract, but sources have told ESPN that informal talks have been held with representatives of Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank as the club assess alternative options.

There is also interest in Gareth Southgate, but he remains focused on leading England at this summer’s European Championship.

Ten Hag was defiant in his post-match news conference at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, insisting that the team he inherited in 2022 was “a mess” and that two trophies represents a good return from his two years in charge at Old Trafford.

However, ESPN sources close to the former Ajax boss are concerned that neither Ratcliffe or Brailsford have offered a cast-iron guarantee that he will keep his job, even in the wake of Saturday’s FA Cup success.

Ratcliffe, who was at the Saturday’s final along with Brailisford, released a brief statement that evening but there was no specific mention of Ten Hag.

There are doubts among those close to Ten Hag that winning the FA Cup has significantly changed the way INEOS are thinking about the club’s future, particularly after an eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

But sources have told ESPN that victory over City has made the decision harder for Ratcliffe and Brailsford. A source has told ESPN that if Ten Hag does leave he will go with “his head held high.”

Winning the FA Cup has guaranteed United a place in the Europa League next season. Sources have told ESPN that in the event of his sacking, Ten Hag is now due a higher amount of compensation than if United had missed out on Europe altogether.