Graham Potter 'sounded out' regarding Man Utd job amid increasing pressure on Erik ten Hag

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have the power to hire and fire once his investment into Man Utd is confirmed.

Manchester United have reportedly 'sounded out' Graham Potter for the managerial job as they mull over the long-term future of Erik ten Hag.

Potter is much-admired by United's new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is awaiting full ratification of his investment into the club, subject to passing the Premier League's owners' and directors' test. The INEOS chief will take control of footballing operations at the club, including the hiring and firing of managers.

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Current boss Erik ten Hag is under increasing pressure after what has been a dismal first-half of the season at Old Trafford. Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest was his 14th of the season, signalling the club's worst start to a campaign since 1930.

Those defeats have also seen United knocked out of the Carabao Cup as holders and eliminated from the Champions League. One win from six in Europe saw them finish bottom of Group A, meaning they will have no European football whatsoever in the new year.

ESPN reports that Ratcliffe and the other new arrivals at United - namely Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc - are keen to keep Ten Hag in place at least until the end of this season before reassessing in the summer.

But there is an understanding that if results do not improve significantly, they may be forced to act before May, and contingency plans are seemingly being put in place. Potter has attracted interest from across Europe since being sacked by Chelsea in April and United chiefs are said to have made initial contact over how he feels regarding a return to management.

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Ten Hag insisted news of Ratcliffe's investment was 'positive' in his first press conference after the announcement on Christmas Eve. But the Dutchman could see his influence on recruitment dwindle as new hires arrive at Old Trafford.

The vast majority of United's major signings over the last three windows have been under the orders of Ten Hag, with many playing under him at various different clubs. But there have been questions regarding the success rate of those moves, particularly the likes of Antony who cost £86million but is yet to register a single goal or assist this season.

United are not expecting to be busy in the transfer window this month but Ratcliffe will look to put his mark on the squad in the summer.

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