Manchester United set to limit Ten Hag’s influence over Transfers 

Manchester United are expected to tweak Erik ten Hag’s role at the club when new contract talks begin, now that a decision has been made that the Dutchman will remain at Old Trafford.

A post-season review was carried out by United’s new sporting hierarchy in the wake of an eighth-place Premier League finish and FA Cup triumph, which was to determine whether Ten Hag would be the man to lead the team into the new era or if the club would go in another direction.

Although United are believed to have been in talks with several alternatives – including Thomas Tuche, Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank – INEOS sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford, chief aide to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has been described by one report as “the man most keen to keep Ten Hag”.

Part of keeping Ten Hag is also handing him an extended contract to cement his place in the ongoing rebuild project. But there are expected to be caveats that will change how things operate.

EPSN writes that two key topics in planned talks will focus on reducing Ten Hag’s influence over recruitment and adjusting the structure of his coaching staff.

Since his arrival, the manager has held the power of veto over incoming and outgoing transfers. In Andre Onana, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, United have spent big on players he has worked with before, while targeting others like Frenkie de Jong and Brian Brobbey.

The club are also now pulling back from interest in Matthijs de Ligt, another of Ten Hag’s former Ajax stars.

In a proposed new structure, the 54-year-old would still have a transfers “voice”, yet his role would primarily be focused on coaching and managing a squad of players ostensibly assembled for him by a specialist recruitment department headed by expected new sporting director Dan Ashworth.

So far, summer recruitment has been led by new technical director Jason Wilcox and chief scout Steve Brown, with Ashworth yet to join the club from Newcastle United.

As for coaching, Benni McCarthy is due to imminently be out of contract and, while Ten Hag wants the South African to stay on, he could be replaced by a external appointment to work alongside current assistant coaches Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag.

Ultimately, the plan appears to be creating something that is ‘club-led’, whereby all future managers and players would fit into a predetermined overarching system – as has long been the case for the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona, and even smaller clubs like Brighton & Hove Albion.

What we know

  • Man Utd want Erik ten Hag to focus more on coaching
  • Veto over transfers could be lost in new contract talks
  • Sporting hierarchy also want to adjust backroom staff.

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