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Erik ten Hag: How did Manchester United come to decision to keep Dutch coach and what happens now?

Erik ten Hag is staying at Manchester United after the club finished their end-of-season review; the Dutchman is in talks over a new contract at Old Trafford with one year left on his current deal; United did speak to other managers before sticking with their current coach

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Kaveh Solhekol explains the reasons why INEOS have decided to keep Erik ten Hag after their end of season review, which could also lead to him being offered a new deal.

Erik Ten Hag is set to stay at Manchester United after the club finalised their end-of-season review. But what happens now?

United finished a disappointing eighth, their worst finish in the Premier League era, and despite beating rivals Manchester City to lift the FA Cup and Ten Hag's second trophy in as many years, speculation was still rife over the Dutchman's future after INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe took over the club's football operations in February.

But United have now confirmed that Ten Hag will be staying on as their manager and the 54-year-old is now in talks with the club over an improved contract.

To explain how United came to this decision, Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol goes through all the details.

How close was Ten Hag to losing his job?

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Here are the answers to five of your most popular questions after Manchester United confirmed Erik Ten Hag is remaining as manager.

Solhekol: Ten Hag was aware that it was touch and go as to whether he kept his job or not.

Man Utd had their post-season review and they did explore all options. Ten Hag won the FA Cup at the end of the season, against the backdrop of lots of reports that he was going to lose his job. No sooner are the celebrations over after losing the FA Cup, United are contacting other managers - either directly or through their representatives.

It has obviously been well-documented that they looked at other managers like Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Frank.

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After much speculation, Erik ten Hag is set to stay at Manchester United following INEOS' end-of-season review. We take a look at the Dutchman's highs and lows during his tenure at Old Trafford so far.

There were widespread reports in the UK and Germany that Tuchel met Sir Jim Ratcliffe in Monaco last week. We know there has been contact with representatives of Pochettino. Hiring Gareth Southgate is impossible as he is managing England at the Euros.

United were exploring all eventualities, but ultimately, they decided they would stick with Ten Hag.

Although it can't have been a particularly nice experience for Ten Hag to have had this after winning the FA Cup, he's been in football a long time and knows how these things work.


Why did Man Utd speak to other managers?

Solhekol: United were very clear that they were having a post-season review and that the review was going to look at the manager's position.

When Ratcliffe and INEOS came in, they invested in the business and it was their right to look at all areas of the business.

Ten Hag was someone they inherited as a manager and you could argue they were doing what every owner would do when coming into a club by looking at all facets of the business.

How important was the FA Cup win for Ten Hag's future?

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Sky Sports' Dharmesh Sheth reports on the news that Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is set to stay at Old Trafford ahead of the new Premier League season.

Solhekol: You can certainly make the case that if Man Utd hadn't won the FA Cup then Ten Hag would have lost his job.

But you can also make the case that if it wasn't for Haji Wright being offside in the semi-final against Coventry, he also would have lost his job.

It's a game of fine margins but in a post-season review, having the FA Cup and European football from that, it makes a decent case for him to stay. Without those things it's a difficult case to make for him to stay in the job.

Has his relationship with the younger players in the squad made a difference?

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The best goals Manchester United scored in the 2023/24 Premier League season.

Solhekol: INEOS have been impressed with the way Ten Hag has handled the development of Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho.

INEOS do now want to go in a different direction at Man Utd and the days of spending £80m on one player is over.

They want to sign young players and Ten Hag has proven that he is the right man for those players.

That is definitely one of the reasons why they have stuck with him.

Why is Ten Hag getting a new contract?

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Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford gave mixed opinions on the news that Erik ten Hag will remain as manager after INEOS decided to keep the Dutchman.

Solhekol: The complication is he's only got one year left on his contract. When you're a manager of the stature of Erik ten Hag, someone who has had a lot of success in the game, you need more security than that. He will want more certainty going forward.

This summer, if he had left United, he could have managed Ajax again and he could have managed Bayern Munich. If he had done that, he would have got the security of a three or four-year contract.

It doesn't help Man Utd or Ten Hag if you are going into a new season with the clock ticking on the manager's future. You want to avoid any more speculation about his future. If there's no new deal, United are just kicking the managerial decision down the road.

It's not good enough for United to have a review and say 'we've explored all eventualities and you'll do for the time being'. Ten Hag deserves more than that. He needs to be backed fully.

That means giving him a contract and the security of a three or four-year deal and that will send a message out to the fans, to the wider community and to the United squad that Ten Hag is here to stay, he's the owners' man and he is the one who calls the shots.

It's also an important decision for transfers at Man Utd. Players coming in will want to know what's going on and they will want security that a manager will not just be off after only a few months of the season.

Even with a new contract, how patient will Man Utd be with Ten Hag now?

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With his future at Manchester United in doubt, Erik ten Hag was in defiant mood following his side's FA Cup triumph over rivals Manchester City.

Solhekol: If he gets his new deal, Ten Hag will have no excuses. Because Sir Jim Ratcliffe will say he is now calling the shots in the club's football operations.

With a new chief executive, a new sporting director and a new technical director, everything is in place for Ten Hag to be successful. No excuses.

Obviously, United still need to work on their training ground and do up Old Trafford as well. But plans are in place to do that.

INEOS are now committed to this project.

Ten Hag has been true to his word. He's said all along he's had a good working relationship with INEOS and now we are getting a clear indication that they want to work with him long-term as well.

The only issue has been the way this has been conducted. There will be people who say that if INEOS loved Ten Hag so much, why were they talking to other managers? However, in this day and age, it might not be the right thing to do to speak to other managers in football terms, but it is the right thing to do in business.

INEOS have come in and made a lot of changes already at Man Utd and there will be more, but they think Ten Hag is the right man to coach the team. But I do not think he is as powerful as he was before INEOS arrived.

Ten Hag will be happy that he is keeping his job, but I don't think it is a massive cause for celebration for him because I'm sure he thinks it should have been dealt with much quicker and that his position wouldn't have been under so much scrutiny for so long.

A pivotal summer coming up for Ten Hag and Man Utd

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Could Manchester United be about to make a move for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee?

Solhekol: It is a massive summer for Man Utd.

It's not just about players coming in either. It's also about players going out the door.

Ten Hag has said he wants another centre-back, he wants another central midfielder and he wants another striker.

There's also the Jadon Sancho situation which has to be dealt with. You'd think that with Ten Hag staying it makes it much more likely that Sancho will leave Old Trafford, unless there's some sort of twist and peace talks with everybody making up.

But in terms of transfers, I don't think Ten Hag will have the sort of control and influence that he previously had because of the new structure that has been put in place at United.

There's also still a lot of uncertainty around the club with new chief executive Omar Berrada not starting yet, Dan Ashworth is embroiled in a legal dispute with Newcastle United and the transfer window will be open on Friday.

It is good news for United that they have Jason Wilcox in place and, now they know Ten Hag will be the manager, it will help them in the market.

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