Manchester United players are split over Erik ten Hag potentially becoming their next manager, according to reports. The Ajax boss is now the No 1 choice to take over at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils prioritising the Dutchman over Mauricio Pochettino. But members of the squad have differing views on the 52-year-old.
Manchester United recently used the international break to accelerate their managerial process, with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher holding talks with leading candidates.
And it’s since emerged that Ten Hag is now the frontrunner for the post, despite the club also admiring Pochettino, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui.
Despite that, however, the Manchester Evening News say members of the squad are ‘split’ on the Dutchman.
Some are genuinely excited about the Ajax boss potentially arriving, believing his coaching can raise standards after a difficult season under both Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Yet others see the appointment of Ten Hag as ‘underwhelming’.
Players were believed to favour the board giving Pochettino the job just mere months away but the club hierarchy is now ‘edging towards’ Ten Hag instead.
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He’d become their second Dutch manager after Louis van Gaal, who previously ruled the roost between 2014 and 2016.
Ajax are said to have a good relationship with United and are willing to let their manager go 12 months ahead of schedule.
It’s stated the mood within the United squad has now worsened after Saturday’s drab 1-1 draw with Leicester, where they were lucky to claim a point.
They’re now seventh in the table after West Ham beat Everton 2-1 in their showdown on Sunday.
United players are said to be ‘baffled’ at Rangnick’s decision to leave Marcus Rashford on the bench for the Leicester game, despite the German being without Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial an Mason Greenwood.
Should Ten Hag take over, he’ll become their fifth manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
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David Moyes was the first but the Scot lasted just 10 months before he was relieved of his duties.
Van Gaal then followed yet, though he won the FA Cup in 2016, he was dismissed that same year due to a failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Under Jose Mourinho, United won the Carabao Cup and Europa League titles during his maiden season at the helm.
But he, too, was axed in December 2018 after losing the support of key players behind the scenes – including Paul Pogba.
Solskjaer raised spirits at United and, for a while, seemed as though he was making progress.
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Yet the 49-year-old was sacked back in November after a dismal run of form, with a 4-1 defeat away at Watford the final straw.
Meanwhile, Rangnick has opened up on the recommendations he’s made to the United board as they plan for things to change.
Speaking after the draw with Leicester, he said: “Manchester City and Liverpool … have been built together and recruited over a period of five or six years – all of them under the premise of how the coaches want to play.
“I told the board this is what has to happen [at United].
“Whenever the new head coach is clear, it has to be: how does he want to play and what kind of players do we need for that?
“Then we come back to DNA, speed, physicality, tempo. What do we need?
“This team does not lack technical players, it can do with more physicality.
“It takes right decisions and [clarity over] where you want to go: what kind of players, want kind of manager and then, in every transfer window, try to get the best possible.
“This is rocket science. It has to be done and, if that happens, it does not necessarily need three or four years.
“Maybe in two or three transfer windows, then the situation could be different.”