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Erik ten Hag: Manchester United manager hints at potential stay at Old Trafford next season | Football News


Erik ten Hag has revealed he has already held talks with the Manchester United hierarchy over his future and has hinted at a potential stay at the club, saying: “We go for next season”.

The Dutchman’s Old Trafford future is under serious threat after guiding United to eighth place in the Premier League this season, their lowest-ever finish.

Should United lose Saturday’s FA Cup final to Manchester City, they will be left without European football next season. It will be just the second time United have failed to play in Europe since the 1989/90 season.

Reports have claimed that not even a victory against Man City at Wembley would save Ten Hag’s job, but Sky Sports News understands United will not decide his future until after the FA Cup final.

Ten Hag – who won the Carabao Cup final last season – will still take charge of United for the Wembley final on Saturday, but he was asked if talks are planned for next week surrounding his future.

He replied: “No, we already did that. Sunday, I go on holiday. I think I deserved it.”

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Sky Sports Melissa Reddy says Ten Hag’s future was the ‘definitive theme’ at his FA Cup final press conference

Asked if he has been given assurances that he will remain in charge at Old Trafford next season, Ten Hag then said: “It’s not necessary. We go for next season.”

Ten Hag’s future is the first major decision new United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS Director of Sport Sir Dave Brailsford have to make since their £1.2bn investment was completed in December.

Sky Sports News reported this week that United would want to speak to Brentford manager Thomas Frank, former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna should Ten Hag leave the club.

It was also revealed that United have already spoken to McKenna’s representatives through new chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox last week.

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Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett reports Manchester United officials have met representatives of Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna

Asked if Ratcliffe and Brailsford wished him luck ahead of the FA Cup final, Ten Hag said: “Yes of course. We are together. They are – since January – part of this club and they want us to win trophies.

“The club did not win so many trophies in the last 10 years, so now we have a second opportunity in two years. It is a big opportunity to win another trophy.”

Ten Hag once again highlighted United’s injury misfortune as to why they did not achieve a higher Premier League finish.

According to Premier League Injuries, Ten Hag’s squad suffered 45 separate injuries during the 2023/24 league season, the highest out of any top-flight club, while they also had 21 individual players pick up injuries, only Tottenham (22) had more.

United’s player also accumulated 1,620 days lost to injuries this season, the sixth-highest out of any Premier League club.

Asked what United could achieve if he was to stay on as United manager next season, Ten Hag replied: “We are definitely competitive for top four.

“But the competition, the Premier League, there are many teams in this moment who battle for the top four. But we are definitely in there.

“Also, we would have been [top four] this season – if the players would have been available. But that is the biggest thing that has to change, that players over the course of the season are available.”

Ten Hag: Three finals in two years, it’s not that bad

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Ten Hag said he is only concerned about the job he has to do at the FA Cup final, as rumours about his future at the club were addressed

Saturday will mark Ten Hag’s second FA Cup final as United manager, having guided them to Wembley this time last year, only for Manchester neighbours City to defeat them 2-1.

Given United have reached Wembley three times in two years since the Dutchman took over, Ten Hag was keen to defend his domestic cup record at the club given they are in a “transition period.”

“I think it is the fact, it is the truth that this club is in a transition period,” said Ten Hag.

“We progressed many players to higher levels – some younger ones also came into the team and became internationals, also selected for Copa Americas for the Euros, which is very good.

“We want to improve the squad, we want to create a team for the future and in the meantime we want to win trophies. And again on Saturday we have another opportunity to win a big trophy. That is the third final in two years. I would say that is not too bad.

“Many forget this.

Ten Hag was also asked what he could achieve if he is able to build on the young nucleus of his squad with a few transfers over the summer.

“We are definitely competitive for top four,” he said. “But the competition, the Premier League, there are many teams in this moment who battle for the top four.

“But we are definitely in there. Also, we would have been this season – if the players would have been available. But that is biggest thing that has to change, that players over the course of the season are available.”

‘We were better than City in last year’s FA Cup final’

Bruno Fernandes reacts after Man City score their second goal
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Man Utd were beaten by Man City in last season’s FA Cup final

Ten Hag was also adamant his United team were better than City in last year’s FA Cup final, despite Pep Guardiola’s side getting their hands on the trophy.

United fell behind after 12 seconds thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s speedy opener, and while Bruno Fernandes equalised from the penalty after a contentious decision, Gundogan fired in a second-half winner.

“Last season, you can’t change it anymore but when we analysed that match, we were better than them,” Ten Hag said.

“I have some data and on almost every occasion we were better than them – not in terms of possession, they were far better in possession, they had more possession. But all the other facts like getting into the final third, creating chances getting shots on target, every data we were better than them.

“Saturday we are going to have to suffer, sacrifice out of possession because they are good at it. We have to fight and be organised defensively, and if we can do that, we have an opportunity. We know they play at very high levels.

“We have to get up to those levels. We want to be the best. That is our target.”



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