Next Manchester United manager: Shortlist 'down to one' after Mauricio Pochettino 'snub'

Erik ten Hag faces an uncertain future at Manchester United despite winning the FA Cup.Erik ten Hag faces an uncertain future at Manchester United despite winning the FA Cup.
Erik ten Hag faces an uncertain future at Manchester United despite winning the FA Cup. | Getty Images
Manchester United are yet to make a decision over the future of under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag

It is now more than two weeks since Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side triumphed in the FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over their local rivals Manchester City.

The match was labelled by many in the media as the Dutchman’s final game in the dugout after a dismal league season which saw the Red Devils fall to eighth - their lowest finish in 34 years when Sir Alex Ferguson was reportedly close to losing his job.

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Shortly after the FA Cup triumph, Manchester United chiefs launched a review into the club’s season and where it went wrong, but as of yet there has been no decision on whether Ten Hag is the man to take them forward and whether we will see a new boss in the dugout at Old Trafford.

Several publications, including The Times, stated that United had already began their search for a Ten Hag replacement before the FA Cup final, and claimed that they had narrowed down the process to four possible candidates which were thought to be former Chelsea bosses Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel along with Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank of Brentford.

McKenna - a boyhood United fan who left his role as assistant coach in December 2021 - signed a new contract as Ipswich Town manager after overseeing back-to-back promotions to the Premier League. Tuchel - who left Bayern Munich at the end of the season - held talks with Ratcliffe in Monaco as recently as last week. But the German has since decided to take a break from football after missing out on silverware entirely last term.

The Times claimed initially that Pochettino would be one of the frontrunners after years of speculation linking him with the Old Trafford post, but adds that he is now reportedly set to miss out on the chance once again, two years after Ten Hag was preferred to him in the selection process. This leaves just one name on the list from The Times’ original report with Brentford’s Thomas Frank still being considered for the position.

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The Danish coach arrived at the Bees in 2018 and guided the West Londoners to Premier League promotion three years later, confirming the club’s top-flight status for the first time in 74 years.

Following their return to the Premier League, Brentford have largely exceeded expectations despite operating on a smaller budget than many of their competitors. In their first season back they secured a 13th place finish and reached the quarter-final of the EFL Cup. The following season they secured a top half finish and one of the best campaigns in their history, finishing ninth and becoming the only league side to beat Manchester City at the Etihad that season.

Last term, largely due to the long-term suspension of top scorer Ivan Toney, Brentford fell to a 16th place finish, but rarely faced any threat of relegation due to their superior points tally in comparison to Luton Town, Sheffield United and Burnley.

The Express reports that Frank is yet to be ruled out as a potential ten Hag replacement and claims that he has held talks with United chiefs in the past. Frank has been lauded in the past for his excellent ability to operate in the transfer market and his knowledge and understanding of a data-driven recruitment approach.

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