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Erik ten Hag’s influence to be reduced in key area even if he stays at Manchester United

INEOS wants Erik ten Hag to focus on coaching if he survives the summer
INEOS wants Erik ten Hag to focus on coaching if he survives the summer

INEOS wants Erik ten Hag to focus on coaching if he survives the summer

According to a report from The Daily Mail, Manchester United’s new INEOS ownership, which will be responsible for the club’s sporting operations going forward, is keen on reducing the influence of Erik ten Hag on player recruitment.

Whether the owners choose to stick with Ten Hag and give him a third season at Old Trafford remains to be seen. Regardless of this decision, however, they have made it clear that they want the coach to focus more on coaching and less on what happens upstairs.

United have already poached Omar Berrada from rivals Manchester City, who will be their new chief executive in the summer.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's men have been keen to make their intentions clear ever since arriving at Old Trafford. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s men have been keen to make their intentions clear ever since arriving at Old Trafford. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

They’re also in talks with Newcastle United for Dan Ashworth, whom they wish to make their director of football. Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave since the United interest emerged.

The Red Devils have also made a formal approach to Southampton to rope in Jason Wilcox as their technical director. Wilcox previously worked at Man City as the academy director.

Wilcox is highly regarded in the footballing circles owing to his directorial stints across Man City and Southampton. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Wilcox is highly regarded in the footballing circles owing to his directorial stints across Man City and Southampton. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Co have been keen to sort the United hierarchy out ahead of taking charge next season, highlighting their intent of steering away from the practices of the previous regime that has plunged the club into mediocrity over the past decade.

A decision long overdue

Erik ten Hag arrived at Manchester United at a time when Ed Woodward was on his way out, with Richard Arnold (chief executive), John Murtough (football director). and Darren Fletcher (technical director) taking up new roles at the club.

At the time, it made sense to incorporate Ten Hag into the recruitment process, for little to no setup was at place to support him the way he was at Ajax. Naturally, the Dutchman preferred to pursue players he had previously worked with, and while that resulted in a good acquisition in Lisandro Martínez, it also resulted in a should-never-have-happened move for Antony.

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A club of Man United’s stature cannot simply rely on their manager’s word of mouth when going about looking for new players. A proper sporting structure sitting above the coaching setup has been long overdue at the club—this in itself is an understatement. The new owners clearly intend to sort that out before making managerial calls in the summer, which can generally be considered the right way of going about things.

Written by Anshuman Joshi

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