07/04/2022; 3:28 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Manchester United have been on a quest to land a new manager since the sacking of the ineffectual Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick is working as interim manager and will move upstairs once his tenure ends in the summer.
Most top clubs do not usually make a song and dance of employing a new manager, but the Red Devils have managed to turn it into something more arduous than rocket science. The Mancunian side have been on this quest for close to six months.
Darren Fletcher has been at the forefront of recruiting a new United manager. However, it seems the search is close to an end, with the season close rounding up.
Manchester United had a shortlist of coaches narrowed to two - Erik Ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino. Over the past months, Ten Hag and Pochettino sent signals of their intentions, with Pochettino tipped to land the job ahead of the Ajax manager.
In a twist, a report by The Mirror suggests that Erik Ten Hag has moved ahead of Pochettino for the job.
Manchester United are yet to make any statement concerning the Ten Hag, but all indications are that he would be the new United manager at the end of the season. To go with, bookmakers now have the Dutchman as the favourite to land the job as well.
Ten Hag is confident of landing the job and is already making plans for next season. According to reports, the Dutchman plans to bring in Steve McClaren as his No 2 when announced as the new manager. It follows an agreement between the Dutchman’s camp and Manchester United.
For weeks, the rumour mill was agog with Pochettino leading the queue to become United’s next manager. The argument for the Argentine was his understanding of the Premier League and his ability to work with material available to him. Pochettino is ready and willing to quit his job at PSG to manage Manchester United as he is keen to return to the Premier League.
United had an initial five-man shortlist. It included Spain coach Luis Enrique, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino. Ten Hag, however, emerged as the clear favourite in recent weeks. The preferred choice for United was Luis Enrique, but the Spaniard made it clear to the Red Devils that he would not be available until after the World Cup in November.
Thomas Tuchel was another choice ruled out due to his Chelsea commitments.
The current Ajax coach is understood to see the club’s willingness to consider Steve McClaren as a positive sign. Ten Hag worked under McClaren at FC Twente for the 2008-09 season,
If Ten Hag is appointed and McClaren joins him at United, the Englishman would be making a return to Old Trafford after 21 years. McClaren worked under Sir Alex Ferguson from 1999 to 2001. McClaren is considered an assistant to Ten Hag due to his Premier League experience, and he also speaks Dutch.