Ten Hag wants Man Utd to take 'next step' on pre-season tour

AFP , Wednesday 12 Jun 2024

Erik ten Hag said on Wednesday he wants Manchester United to take the "next step" on their pre-season tour in what appears to be a fresh sign he will remain as their manager.

Erik ten Hag
File Photo: Manchester United s Dutch manager Erik ten Hag . AFP


Earlier this week, the BBC reported United were set to talk to the Dutchman about extending his contract at Old Trafford, which is about to enter its final season.

A poor second campaign in charge ended on a high note as he led United to a shock 2-1 FA Cup final victory against rivals Manchester City.

But the build-up to the match at Wembley was dominated by talk over Ten Hag's future after a report said he would be sacked by United's new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe regardless of the result.

United finished eighth in the Premier League -- their lowest placing since 1990 -- and crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage.

But it appears the 54-year-old is readying himself to be in charge for the club's pre-season friendlies, starting with a game against Rosenborg in Norway on July 15.

"Pre-season is about preparing for the season and we have to make that our next step," he told United's website.

"It is one of the only times when you have the team together and you can work in training on structures, the way of play but also on certain standards around the team and that's very important to take this period and use it effectively."

United are unlikely to have a full-strength squad available given several of their players will be involved at Euro 2024 and the Copa America.

"(The squad will be) as strong as possible but, of course, the players who go far in the Copa America and the Euros will not be involved," Ten Hag said

"There will be a mix, with experienced players together with some young players."

United also face Rangers at Murrayfield before travelling to the United States for further fixtures against Arsenal, Real Betis and Liverpool.

Ratcliffe was reported to have held talks with German Thomas Tuchel last week as speculation mounted over Ten Hag's future, but the former Bayern Munich and Chelsea boss reportedly ruled himself out of the running.

United's interest in Mauricio Pochettino is understood to have cooled even though he is now a free agent after leaving Chelsea.

Other managers linked to United have been Graham Potter, Thomas Frank, Roberto De Zerbi and current England boss Gareth Southgate.

Ten Hag is United's fifth permanent manager since the end of Alex Ferguson's trophy-filled reign in 2013, following David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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