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Man Utd ‘shortlist nine Erik ten Hag successors’ as Spurs fear Sir Jim Ratcliffe approach | Football | Sport

Ten Hag may need to salvage a disappointing second season by securing Champions League qualification to stand any chance of entering a third year in the Old Trafford dugout.

United trail fifth-place Spurs by six points and are nine behind Aston Villa in fourth, having played one less match, with 10 Premier League outings left.

If the Red Devils defeat Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley next month, they will reach their third domestic final out of a possible four under Ten Hag.

But lifting a 13th FA Cup may not be enough to heal the financial wound caused by missing out on Champions League football at the start of Ratcliffe’s reign over football operations.

According to ESPN, Ten Hag believes INEOS haven’t yet made a decision on his future and he has been fully involved with planning for the summer transfer window.

However, the Dutchman has not received formal confirmation that he will remain United manager next season, and Sir Dave Brailsford is said to have been monitoring potential candidates to replace him.

United are claimed to have discussed nine names internally in the event of a change of manager at the end of the campaign, six of which have Premier League experience.

Gareth Southgate, Graham Potter, Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank, Thomas Tuchel, Julen Lopetegui, Zinedine Zidane, Ruben Amorim and Julian Nagelsmann are all said to be in the frame.

The report adds that Ratcliffe’s ambition to do whatever it takes to get the right people in the right positions also doesn’t rule out an attempt to poach recent hires, including Tottenham’s Postecoglou.

Ten Hag reportedly believes that he still has time to prove he is the ideal candidate to guide the club forwards, though.

He is under contract until June 2025, with the option of a further year, and would likely need to accept a diluted role with less power if he stays put.

Ratcliffe and Brailsford agree that United’s failed managers since Sir Alex Ferguson have been the victims of a mediocre structure off the pitch, which they are aggressively changing from the off.

Omar Berrada has left Manchester City to become chief executive. Meanwhile, Dan Ashworth will join from Newcastle United as sporting director once he serves his gardening leave.

Jason Wilcox is also set to arrive from Southampton as technical director and should be joined by a fourth appointment under the title of performance director.

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