Erik ten Hag faces prolonged wait over Manchester United future despite FA Cup win

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag faces an extended wait to discover his fate with no outcome from Manchester United’s end-of-season review expected imminently. The Dutchman, who has one year left on his contract at Old Trafford, strengthened his case to keep his job by winning the FA Cup on Saturday – his second trophy in as many seasons.

United’s new co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and his Ineos allies have been conducting an audit of the club, with the manager’s position a key focus as they have examined every level of the club and already made major changes to high-level personnel.

But no decision was made before the FA Cup final and victory over Manchester City at Wembley means that Ten Hag has retained the faith of some influential figures at the club.

United recorded their lowest ever Premier League finish this season, coming eighth, in what Ten Hag has described as a “horrible” campaign. But the 54-year-old said at Wembley on Saturday that he inherited a “mess” and has attributed much of this season’s difficulties to injuries.

Ratcliffe chose not to answer questions about Ten Hag at Wembley and did not thank the manager by name in a statement praising the players and staff for winning the FA Cup.

However, 78 per cent of fans who voted in a poll in a local news outlet said they wanted to keep the former Ajax manager, while Ten Hag has claimed other clubs have tried to hire him.

United have also explored the possibility of hiring various other managers but their former coach Kieran McKenna, who impressed them by winning back-to-back promotions with Ipswich, now looks likelier to sign an extended contract to stay at Portman Road.

Gareth Southgate, who has admirers inside Ineos, is under contract with England until the end of the calendar year and has pledged not to speak to clubs about jobs before Euro 2024.

One complication for United is that the sporting director they want to oversee the new structure and who could be charged with appointing a manager, Dan Ashworth, is still on gardening leave as compensation has not yet been agreed with Newcastle for him to start. United’s incoming chief executive, Omar Berrada, will not start until July but sporting director Jason Wilcox is already in place. Jean-Claude Blanc, who is acting as interim CEO, and Sir Dave Brailsford are key decision-makers who have arrived with Ratcliffe as part of Ineos.

Meanwhile, Ineos are confident that both United and Nice, the French club they bought in 2019, will both be allowed to compete in the Europa League after both qualified for the competition.

"We are aware of the position of both clubs and are in direct dialogue with Uefa," they said in a statement. "We are confident we have a route forward for next season in Europe."