Man United ‘had EIGHT managers on their shortlist’ before landing on Erik ten Hag as first-choice


Man United ‘had EIGHT managers on their shortlist’ before landing on Erik ten Hag as their first choice – with ‘Brendan Rodgers considered before Leicester nose-dived and Red Devils concerned Real Madrid might poach Mauricio Pochettino from PSG’

  • Manchester United reportedly picked Erik ten Hag from a shortlist of eight 
  • Ajax boss ten Hag has verbally agreed to take over as manager in the summer 
  • It is claimed Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers were among seven others considered
  • The club were said to be wary of Real Madrid poaching Maurizio Pochettino

Manchester United settled on Erik ten Hag as first choice after evaluating a shortlist of eight managers, according to reports.

Ajax’s ten Hag verbally agreed earlier this week to take over at Old Trafford this summer, replacing interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who is expected to ‘move upstairs’ into a consultancy role.

According to ESPN, United briefly considered Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers before their form nose-dived, and were keen on Mauricio Pochettino, but were worried Real Madrid would poach the Paris Saint-Germain boss from under their noses.

Manchester United reportedly considered a shortlist of eight before picking Ajax’s Erik ten Hag (above) to be their next manager – ten Hag has verbally agreed to take over this summer

Leicester's Brendan Rodgers (above) 'was also considered before their form took a nose-dive'

Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers (above) ‘was also considered before their form took a nose-dive’

ESPN also state the final four-man shortlist included ten Hag, Pochettino, Spain boss Luis Enrique and Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui.

The other four considered after the sacking of Rangnick’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November are said to be Bayern Munich’s Julian Nagelsmann, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, Rodgers and former Real Madrid chief Zinedine Zidane.

However, Nagelsmann – who became the most expensive managerial transfer ever when he moved from RB Leipzig for £22million in July – and Tuchel, manager of United’s rivals Chelsea, were quickly dismissed as realistic options.

An ESPN source said: ‘It’s important to consider the available options. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp aren’t available and United were never going to get Nagelsmann out of Bayern. 

‘Tuchel is a real asset to Chelsea too, so he wasn’t a credible option either. So you look at the market, who is capable and gettable, and United have considered them all. They haven’t overlooked anybody they should have spoken to.’ 

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Mauricio Pochettino (l) was heavily considered; Thomas Tuchel (r) was ruled out as an option

When Solskjaer was sacked, free agent Antonio Conte was reportedly ruled out because of his demanding approach, while initial favourites Pochettino and Rodgers were ruled out because of their contract situation and poor club form respectively.

Zidane was an option before apparently indicating he would only return to club football with PSG, while Enrique is busy preparing for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November and there were fears Lopetegui would be ‘another Unai Emery’.

Tuchel was also considered but ruled out leaving Chelsea in the wake of owner Roman Abramovich selling the club following government sanctions due to links with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is leading an invasion of Ukraine. 

With Pochettino and ten Hag the final two, United cooled on the prospect of the Argentine for two reasons, claim reports. First, Real Madrid were a realistic threat in turning the head of Pochettino this summer to replace Carlo Ancelotti.

Second, French side PSG could well have demanded a massive compensation fee for Pochettino given his contract does not expire until summer 2023. 

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