Erik ten Hag is ‘safe for now’ at Manchester United with the manager’s position not under immediate threat despite the club’s difficult start to the new season.
Back-to-back humbling home defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle have increased the pressure on Ten Hag’s position, who has endured a nightmare start to the campaign with nine defeats from 15 games across all competitions.
The Dutchman led the Red Devils to Champions League qualification and League Cup success last season – ending a six-year wait for a major trophy – but has failed to build on that despite a spend in excess of £400m since arriving from Ajax.
The Athletic are reporting that Manchester United have ‘no succession plan’ in place should a decision be made to sack Ten Hag, whose position at the club is ‘safe for now’.
However, there is growing unrest within the squad at Old Trafford, with the situations surrounding Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho having caused ‘disquiet’.
Maguire was removed as club captain during the summer after falling out of favour, while Sancho is currently training away from the first-team squad after Ten Hag criticised the winger’s application in training. Sancho hit back at Ten Hag via social media, branding the manager’s comments ‘completely untrue’, and has since been exiled from the main group.
Despite ‘doubts about Ten Hag from inside the dressing room, the 53-year-old is not viewed to have lost the dressing room by many in the squad. Any decision on his future however, is complicated due to the club’s ownership situation. British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is negotiating a 25% purchase of the Red Devils and is expected to take control of football operations, if and when a deal goes through.
Ten Hag’s position is not under immediate threat, but improvement will be demanded from a Manchester United side who are eighth in the Premier League table ahead of this weekend’s trip to Fulham. United also face a fight to secure Champions League progress, after opening their group stage campaign with consecutive losses for the first time.