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Erik ten Hag 'could resign from Manchester United on one condition'

Erik ten Hag 'could resign from Man United on one condition'
© Reuters
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could supposedly resign from his position this summer if he is not given assurances by new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Under-fire Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could allegedly resign from his position at Old Trafford under one condition this summer.

The 54-year-old has witnessed his side regress since a successful debut campaign in 2022-23, where they won the EFL Cup and finished third in the Premier League table behind Manchester City and Arsenal.

The Red Devils could still end the current campaign with another honour to their name, as they will face Coventry City in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final for the chance to meet Man City in a repeat of last year's showpiece.

However, Ten Hag's men are all but guaranteed to finish outside of the Premier League's top four this season, currently occupying seventh place in the table with a 13-point chasm to Aston Villa - who have played a game more - in the final Champions League spot.

Man United have been condemned to 12 defeats in the Premier League this season - the joint-most in the top half alongside Newcastle United - and their short-lived Champions League return also ended in a last-placed group-stage finish.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds fans after the match on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Ten Hag desperate for assurances from INEOS

Ten Hag's contract at the Theatre of Dreams runs until the end of next season, and in spite of Man United's constant on-field struggles this season, he is not believed to be in any immediate danger of the sack.

However, he has not been given a public backing by new stakeholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose INEOS group have supposedly been devising an exit strategy should they feel the need to give him the boot.

According to The Mirror, Ten Hag - who claimed earlier this month that he had no doubts about his future at Man United - could go so far as to resign himself if he is not assured of Ratcliffe's faith in him.

While no talks have been held over a new deal beyond 2025, Man United can apparently trigger a 12-month extension in his existing contract, but he would supposedly still walk out if he gets no assurances from the board.

Should the former Ajax boss indeed hand in his notice this summer, a sensational return to Amsterdam has been mooted, as the Dutch giants will part ways with current head coach John van 't Schip this summer.

Who are the contenders to replace Ten Hag?

Former Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane on October 17, 2022© Reuters

Whether Ten Hag goes through with his purported promise only time will tell, but even though the powers-that-be are planning for next season with the Dutchman in charge, they are believed to be running the rule over a selection of candidates.

One of the contenders for the Old Trafford gig is a manager who has been out of work for almost three years, Zinedine Zidane, who has been waiting for the France job to become available since leaving Real Madrid for the second time in 2021.

However, Didier Deschamps will remain in charge of Les Bleus until the 2026 World Cup, so Zidane is apparently giving consideration to a return to club management and would prefer taking the Man United job over Bayern Munich, who are said to have been in touch with him.

Bayern's departing boss, Thomas Tuchel, has been tipped to take the reins at Old Trafford too, as have England's Gareth Southgate, Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi and Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna.

Bologna head coach Thiago Motta was reportedly under consideration as well, but the 41-year-old is instead said to have verbally agreed a deal in principle with Italian giants Juventus.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured on February 1, 2024
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