Erik ten Hag, New Contracts and Imminent Departures: Manchester United's Current Situation
Manchester United have had a turbulent season, with the search for a new manager still ongoing, and a squad overhaul being expected in the summer.
The Managerial Situation
Currently, Manchester United officials have undergone a formal interview with current Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.
The interview was very positive, with United being very impressed by his level of English, and the manager’s ideas of football, while ten Hag has been asked the club about his guarantees, such as transfer budgets, player contract renewals etc., should he eventually become the official permanent manager.
The meeting was very positive, and so Manchester United will soon have this managerial process over as the board eventually chose to go with the Dutchman.
Ralf Rangnick is also a big fan of the Erik ten Hag, giving his opinion to the board, and is pushing the board to bring in the Dutchman. Talks are being scheduled very soon again for the Dutchman and as of right now, the deal is more than advanced, but not done yet. Manchester United also made brief contact with current Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino, but it was not an interview, just brief talks between Manchester United officials and the Argentine.
Pochettino and ten Hag are seen as the two main contenders for the vacant position at the club, especially since many PSG board members do not expect Pochettino to be at the club beyond this season, after a very disappointing season for the French club.
However, PSG would rather part ways with Pochettino themselves, rather than have it done by another club appointing the Argentine, therefore making the situation quite complicated. As with Luis Enrique and Julien Lopetegui, both managers are committed to their current position, making it very difficult to see any of the two Spaniards managing United. Manchester United expect to finalise the process of searching for a new permanent manager by late April in order to inform the squad about the future manager. When Rangnick was asked by the media about the managerial saga, he responded: “I know they [Man Utd board] have spoken to some people but so far we haven’t spoken about the experience and the impressions they have got from those meetings”.
Bruno Fernandes has renewed his contract with Manchester United until 2026, with an increased weekly wage, as his contract renewal was seen as a priority for the club as he is a key player.
This is only the start of numerous contract talks with different players, with next in line being Luke Shaw. The club will soon start talks with Shaw’s camp, as they also want to renew the defender’s contract this year. A potential offer running up until 2026 is being thought of by the board as they believe in the player, after a wonderful season last year, despite his struggles this season.
Expected Outgoings The club currently expects the definite departure of two senior players: Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata.
Donny Van de Beek will likely remain at the club, should Erik Ten Hag be appointed Manchester United manager.
Paul Pogba’s future is undecided as of yet, as the midfielder’s agent Mino Raiola has been in contact with PSG and Juventus regarding offers for the Frenchman.
Both PSG and Juve are very interested in the player and have already sent brief enquiries.
Potential Incomings Manchester United are in the market for a striker and midfielder this summer, with the board having the priority of strengthening the midfield first.
Many names are on the list such as, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Amadou Haidara, Ruben Neves and Declan Rice. With the potential departure of Pogba, the club understand they must strengthen in that area with a top and proven midfielder.
With Anthony Martial's future also being uncertain, especially since the Frenchman has hinted that he could leave permanently at the end of the season, in search of a new start elsewhere, along with the highly likely departure of Cavani, the club feel it is needed that they reinforce the attack with a new striker.
In this respect, United have identified Luka Jovic, Dominic Calvert Lewin, Harry Kane, and Darwin Nunez as possible targets for the summer.