Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already explained INEOS stance on Erik ten Hag Man United sack decision

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has given Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag a lifeline, but the Englishman is still debating whether to fire the Dutchman.

Ten Hag was almost universally predicted to leave Old Trafford this summer following the team’s miserable eighth-place Premier League result—their lowest ever in the league.

But Ratcliffe has some food for thinking after a thrilling win over Manchester City in the FA Cup final guaranteed a position in the Europa League for the upcoming campaign.

Leading a major transformation at United, Ratcliffe has appointed a new chief executive, sporting director, and technical director in addition to significantly cutting the number of employees at the club.

The petrochemical mogul, who paid £1.3 billion for 27.7% of United to gain sporting control, is sure he can turn the team around. But as the Manchester Evening News revealed this week, the choice of Ten Hag’s future isn’t as clear-cut as it first seemed.

Ten Hag, who is currently on vacation, might have been expecting bad news because he knows that Ratcliffe and his INEOS team—which also includes Sir Dave Brailsford and United’s acting CEO, Jean-Claude Blanc—are doing a post-season evaluation. However, they are delaying their choice.

The close of the season has given the INEOS thought leaders a moment of respite, as they communicated with the agents of potential successors for Ten Hag. Ratcliffe’s remarks, made post his acquisition of United in February, explain INEOS’ methodical approach to making decisions.

“We have to be careful we don’t rush at it in a way,” he said. “You don’t want to run to the wrong solution rather than walk to the correct solution.”

Ten Hag, who has one more season left on his deal, usually blames United’s subpar league results on team injuries. The 54-year-old declared resolutely after winning handily at Wembley: “If they don’t want me any more, I go somewhere else and win trophies, that’s what I’ve done my whole career.” Thanks to goals from Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho, both 19 years old, this win appears to have changed people’s perceptions of the team and highlighted their positive future.

INEOS have been considering alternatives to Ten Hag, having held discussions with representatives of Thomas Frank, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Roberto De Zerbi, Gareth Southgate and Kieran McKenna in recent weeks. However, McKenna has since removed himself from contention by pledging his future to Ipswich.

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