Man Utd’s stance on replacing Ten Hag with Zidane after private talks

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Written By Maya Cantina

Manchester United are yet to decide whether or not to make a change in management despite talks between Zinedine Zidane and Ineos’ chief executive officer of sport, Jean-Claude Blanc.

Erik ten Hag has been in his post since the summer of 2022 and still has 18 months left to run on his current contract, however, the Dutchman has overseen an underwhelming campaign to date. Scrutiny over his position has increased since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 27.7 per cent stake in the club.

The petrochemicals billionaire and his team are now in control of sporting operations at Old Trafford and will ultimately decide Ten Hag’s fate. Zidane, formerly of Real Madrid, has been touted as a potential successor but nothing has been decided.

The Independent have outlined the latest on the situation, including details of contact Blanc has had with Zidane over recent months. Ineos are admirers of Zidane, who won three consecutive Champions League titles across two spells at the Bernabeu, and the aim is to keep that connection open.

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While Zidane is highly thought of, there are no imminent plans for him to replace Ten Hag in the summer. The former Ajax chief remains under pressure, though, ahead of Sunday’s highly anticipated Manchester derby.

Ratcliffe and his team are taking stock of the situation and may not make a decision until the end of the season. It’s expected that Ten Hag’s future will hinge heavily on his ability to successfully steer Manchester United to a top-four finish in order to secure Champions League football for next season.

Ten Hag has been coy in recent weeks when asked about his long-term future. He admitted that there have been no talks over a new contract with Ineos, who have shown no signs of endorsing their current manager.

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Jean-Claude Blanc at Nice
Blanc has kept a line of dialogue open with Zidane but no decision has been made over Erik ten Hag’s future
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Getty Images)

But he insisted earlier this week that he doesn’t need any form of public endearment from Ratcliffe and co because they know he’s the right man to help move the club forward.

“I’m here, I’m under contract for three seasons, so I don’t care,” he said. “I am in this process, I’m only focusing on the process, so I don’t care what’s going on around me. I have had many talks with Sir Jim Radcliffe, also with Sir Dave Brailsford and others in that group.

“So I know where we are talking about and I have a strong belief and I feel that they believe in me. But I’m not focusing about my personal circumstances. I’m just focusing on the team and I have to find solutions for this team so that they perform the best way they can.

“It’s all about focusing on that and not getting distracted by any noise or whatever. I know what I’m doing. Consistently, we have had talks and we’re talking about the future together.”

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