Erik ten Hag 'set to earn a stay of execution at Man United'

Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho celebrate victory with Erik ten Hag, Manager of Manchester United, after the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on March 17, 2024 in Manchester, England.

Erik ten Hag is set to earn a stay of execution at Manchester United with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS planning for him to remain in charge next season, according to reports. 

The under-pressure manager helped ease speculation over his future after steering United to a dramatic FA Cup quarter-final victory against Liverpool a week ago, a result that set up a showdown against Championship side Coventry at Wembley.

That win, clinched by Amad Diallo's last-gasp goal, has almost certainly rescued Ten Hag and ensured he will be in post until the summer, as reported by i. INEOS are expected to step up their efforts to rebuild United ahead of the next campaign.

Ten Hag's situation could still change, however. A string of poor results after the international break would further push United away from the Champions League spots, and insiders have confirmed this would work against the man in the hot seat.

As it stands, Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford have no plans to make a change. 

Neither figure would directly axe Ten Hag, i have added. United are still working to take Dan Ashworth from Newcastle and install him as their new sporting director - and he, alongside chief executive Omar Berrada, would make the final decision.

Berrada will commence work at Old Trafford in the summer. It is not known when Ashworth could join him, with United haggling over a compensation fee that would allow him to cut short his gardening leave. No agreement has yet been reached.

'Making big calls without consulting the experts is not what Sir Dave does,' a source has told i. 'If anything, he will ask too many people's opinions. 

'Delegating to the right people is his thing. He is fully aware Ashworth and Berrada know better than he does whether Ten Hag is right for Manchester United. Transforming how major decisions are made is really what he is there for.'

Ratcliffe and INEOS are determined to make United more proactive and as a result are drawing up plans to be able to quickly replace Ten Hag if he is dismissed. 

The likes of Graham Potter, Gareth Southgate, Roberto De Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann are reportedly on United's shortlist. However, it is said that just because candidates have been drawn up, it does not mean Ten Hag is under more pressure.

Ten Hag's influence on the transfer front would almost certainly wane under the new ownership, though, with INEOS set to strip responsibility away from him. Instead, Ashworth and his team would likely take charge of chasing potential targets. 

Ten Hag would reportedly have options should he leave United, according to i. 

A return to either Ajax or Bayern Munich could be on the cards, but the outlet suggests he remains keen to build on the promising glimpses of progress.

United return to action against Brentford on March 30. They are sixth in the Premier League, six points off Tottenham and nine points adrift of Aston Villa.

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