Manchester United are going to part with manager Erik ten Hag at the end of the season, according to a high-profile Dutch journalist.
The 54-year-old has been in charge since the summer of 2022 and despite losing his first two Premier League games, went on to have a good maiden season at Old Trafford, finishing third in the table and securing Manchester United's first silverware since 2017 with a League Cup win.
But things have been less rosy this term, as the Red Devils crashed out of the Champions League group stage and have found themselves off the pace domestically. INEOS billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has arrived at the club – and now, Telegraaf writer Valentijn Driessen says that the signs are clear that Ten Hag is approaching the end.
“I think he is in his last months: if you really wanted to continue with this coach, because the organisation is now pretty much [run by] new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe, then you would also have given Ten Hag reinforcements to continue building a team that should be there next year and finish in the top four,” Driessen told the Kick-Off podcast, via Football 365.
“I assume that [reinvestment is] destined for the new coach, and not for Ten Hag. And that they will leave it now and only start investing and selling it in the summer.”
Despite Driessen's assertions, he admitted that Financial Fair Play could be a factor, though he claimed United could fetch “quite a bit” through selling. Ratcliffe's investment is yet to be ratified, however, hampered financially when it came to making incomings last month – meaning that the new ownership's lack of intent when it comes to improving the squad would likely be similar regardless of the manager.
It may also have made sense not to invest in the squad just yet, given that this is a transitional season with youth coming to the fore, and the key directors behind the scenes in charge of recruitment have yet to be integrated.
With United struggling this season and plenty of Ten Hag's signings failing to have made an impact, there may be some truth in Driessen's beliefs that Ratcliffe does not have faith in his manager. Another factor in the club's decision to continue with the Dutchman could be the lack of stability in sacking a manager midseason, with a bigger payoff involved and fewer quality options available to replace him.
With 57 wins in 90 fixtures as boss at Old Trafford, Ten Hag has a win ratio of 60 per cent.
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