Sources: Man Utd now leaning one way with Erik ten Hag decision as INEOS preference revealed

Erik ten Hag left for vacation with the belief that he would continue to lead Manchester United. Whether or not the Dutchman defeated Manchester City in the FA Cup Final, there was widespread speculation that he would be fired as soon as the season concluded. Yet ten Hag is still in command at Old Trafford more than two weeks after United’s thrilling 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino, who left Chelsea at the end of the season, and Thomas Tuchel, the former manager of Bayern Munich, have both been mentioned frequently as potential successors to ten Hag. The legendary Zinedine Zidane of France and Real Madrid has also done so. All are accessible, and there are no obstacles in the way of any of them being chosen by United to succeed ten Hag. Since the season ended, none are rumoured to have held discussions with United, indicating that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is currently in charge of football operations at Old Trafford, is not considering installing them ahead of a major summer of recruitment activity.

Manchester United Manager Latest

Erik ten Hag believes his job is safe

However, ten Hag is still under a cloud after escaping the same fate as fellow countryman Louis van Gaal at the conclusion of the season following United’s 2016 FA Cup victory. The man looming over England is manager Gareth Southgate.

Southgate will soon travel to Germany for Euro 2024, where many bookmakers have England as 3-1 favourites to end the country’s 58-year drought since they last won a major tournament, the World Cup in 1966. His contract with England expires in December of this year, but there is growing talk that he might be thrust into the United firing line right after the Euros.

His recent performance with England is undoubtedly strong enough, as they advanced to the postponed Euro 2020 championship game at Wembley in July 2021 before falling to Italy on penalties. This accomplishment followed leading England to the 2018 World Cup semifinals, when they were defeated by Croatia, and an early elimination from the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar against France.

After two dismal seasons as Middlesbrough’s manager and a third that culminated in relegation, his record as an international manager is far better than his club record. If United decides to make a change this summer, Southgate is reportedly at the top of Dan Ashworth’s list as the new director of football. Hard-core United supporters wouldn’t view Southgate’s appointment as a positive step forward.

But there’s little doubt he has shown himself adept at managing big egos in the England dressing room.

Impressively, Southgate has forged a powerful camaraderie and team spirit as well as a new positive dynamic that’s enabled England players to free themselves from the heavy burden of expectation that killed previous generations of talented Three Lions teams.

Ratcliffe would rather that a core group of elite English players guide United into the future as opposed to costly foreign mercenaries seeking a large salary. Recently, players with links to United include Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton, Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi, and Michael Olise, who was born in Hammersmith and is eligible for both England and France, Algeria, and Nigeria. And Southgate, the man who handed them their England debuts, would be in the best position to persuade them to join Ratcliffe’s revolution. Ten Hag is still United’s manager for the time being, though, and as the days pass, it becomes likely that he will stay in that role. His greatest danger, though, now seems to be the Southgate factor.

Managerial Statistical Comparison
Manager
Stat Ten Hag Southgate
Games Managed 551 282
Wins 346 130
Draws 92 69
Losses 113 83

No Slowing Down for Kobbie Mainoo

Midfielder expected to sign new deal

After an incredible first Premier League season, footballers are notorious for being stopped cold. This phenomenon is known as second season syndrome. However, after Kobbie Mainoo made a stunning entrance into English football, nobody who has followed the midfield sensation’s growth behind the scenes at Manchester United anticipates any kind of backlash.

Mainoo, who was only eighteen when the season began, had a fantastic breakthrough season, playing 32 games for United and earning his England debut against Brazil. The elegant young player appears certain to travel to Germany for the Euro 2024 Finals with England after scoring incredible goals against Wolves, Liverpool, and Manchester City in the FA Cup Final.

And although it’s been a whirlwind season full of highs, United coaches expect that impressive career start to continue. Mainoo, who still lives at home with his parents in South Manchester, is also expected to sign a bumper new contract worth £60,000 a week by the start of the new season.

Kobbie Mainoo – Stats Compared to Midfielders Across Europe (Last 365 Days)
Statistics Per 90 Percentile
Non-penalty goals 0.14 81
Pass completion 86.3% 72
Successful take-ons 1.46 92
Tackles 2.24 65
Interceptions 1.01 58
Clearances 1.46 62
Aerial duels won 0.87 52

Diogo Dalot Seen as Future Captain Material

The Portuguese defender was signed by Jose Mourinho back in 2018

Diogo Dalot is regarded by United as a future captain if current captain Bruno Fernandes is lured away from Old Trafford this summer. Dalot had an outstanding season last year. Dalot, 25, is evidence that quality need not always be purchased with large sums of money.

In 2018, Jose Mourinho paid what looks like a steal of £19 million to sign him from Porto. Dalot is also dependable, much like his teammate Fernandes from Old Trafford and Portugal. Dalot, who is presently valued at £35 million, made 50 games out of a possible 52 during a season in which injuries ravaged United’s defence.

Dalot also played 42 games for United in 2022-23 making him a player Erik ten Hag, or any manager, can rely on. He perfectly fits the kind of player profile Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his new management team are wanting to recruit – reliable, improving and increasing in value.

Diogo Dalot’s Manchester United Career
Appearances 157
Goals 6
Assists 10
Trophies 2

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