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Man Utd’s ‘top target’ to replace Erik ten Hag ‘in battle with Xabi Alonso’ for new job | Football | Sport

Manchester United are reportedly gearing up to battle it out with AC Milan to land Julen Lopetegui if they let Erik ten Hag go at the end of the season. The Spaniard has been out of a job since leaving Wolves last season due to the West Midlands club’s financial situation.

It is understood that Ten Hag is safe in his role for the foreseeable future. The Guardian reports that the immediate priority for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford is to work out what is required to return the club to its former glory so they aren’t keen on causing further instability by sacking Ten Hag after two seasons.

But with all that being said, United’s new owners will be left with no choice but to let the Dutchman go if United suffer another dip in form and a disappointing end to the season. And according to Relevo, Lopetegui has emerged as a surprise candidate to succeed Ten Hag if this happens.

It is said that Lopetegui would jump at the opportunity to take charge at Old Trafford. Relevo’s report goes on to add that the 57-year-old feels he has the ‘ideal knowledge’ to turn things around for the Red Devils.

However, United aren’t the only club Lopetegui is interested in joining. The same publication claims that he is in a battle with Xabi Alonso for the AC Milan job providing, as expected, they part ways with Stefano Pioli at the end of the season.

When pressed on his future at the club after a 3-2 win over Frosinone last weekend, Pioli, who has been at the San Siro since 2019, said: “My feelings about the future should not be of interest, the important thing is to be focused on the present because the future is built from the present.

“I’ve been in football for too long to become destabilized, I’m doing very well at AC Milan and I always try to give my best. There is a management team, like every year, that at the end of the season will evaluate and make the best decision.”

Lopetegui is reportedly the ‘most liked name’ by Milan’s board due to his methodologies, skills and ability to develop a young and winning project. Meanwhile, Milan are keeping a close eye on Alonso’s situation at Bayer Leverkusen but the Spaniard is also wanted by Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp.

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