Man Utd eye relegation battle survivor as Erik ten Hag’s substitute

Manchester United are reportedly eyeing up a move for a fellow Premier League manager who led his team to avoid relegation this season.

Erik Ten Hag, 53, had an impressive first year in charge but has found this season more challenging and with the club currently sitting eighth in the Premier League and European qualification looking doubtful, pressure is mounting on the Dutchman.

The recent arrival of Ineos chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe has sparked speculation about potential successors to Ten Hag. Among them, Brentford boss Thomas Frank has emerged as a strong contender.

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The 50-year-old Dane has done commendable work at Brentford over the past six years, leading the Bees to the Premier League and exceeding expectations there.

INEOS Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured during the signing of an investment pact between chemicals group Ineos and the Antwerp harbor, Tuesday 15 January 2019 in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP via Getty Images)
Sir Jim Ratcliffe may make a change at Old Trafford

The Telegraph reports that Frank has a pre-existing relationship with Ineos and previously collaborated with Ratcliffe’s right-hand man, Sir Dave Brailsford, who is now involved at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror.

United are seeking a head coach who can fit into the structure being built by Ineos behind the scenes. Frank seems to fit the bill, although he is contracted to Brentford until 2027.

Erik ten Hag is sweating on his future at Manchester United, and is set to learn his fate only after the FA Cup final against city rivals Manchester City.

The Dutch mastermind has been dogged by whispers about his job security all season, despite leading the Red Devils to Champions League football and winning the Carabao Cup last term.

Thomas Frank, Manager of Brentford, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Gtech Community Stadium on April 03, 2024 in Brentford, England
Thomas Frank has emerged as a major contender

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However just last week, ten Hag shrugged off speculation about his future, saying: “That’s my job to speak to you. That’s why I’m the manager, to give the answers.

“I don’t care if they do or they don’t [back him publicly]. I am working on improving and developing my team.”