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Erik ten Hag: Manchester United manager hints at possible stay at Old Trafford next season | football news

Erik ten Hag has revealed that he has already held talks with the Manchester United hierarchy about his future and has hinted at a possible stay at the club: “We are going for next season.”

The Dutchman’s future at Old Trafford is under serious threat after leading United to eighth place in the Premier League this season, their lowest ever finish.

If United lose Saturday’s FA Cup final to Manchester City, they will be left without European football next season. It will be only the second time that United have not played in Europe since the 1989/90 season.

Reports have claimed that not even a win against Manchester City at Wembley would save Ten Hag’s job, but Sky Sports News understands that United will not decide their future until after the FA Cup final.

Ten Hag, who won the Carabao Cup final last season, will remain in charge of United for the Wembley final on Saturday but was asked if there are talks planned for next week about his future.

He replied: “No, we already did it. I’m going on vacation on Sunday. I think I deserved it.”

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Sky Sports Melissa Reddy says Ten Hag’s future was the ‘definitive issue’ in her FA Cup final press conference

Asked if he had been given any guarantees that he would remain in charge at Old Trafford next season, Ten Hag replied: “No need. Let’s go for next season.”

The future of Ten Hag is the first major decision United’s new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS Director of Sport Sir Dave Brailsford have had to make since their £1.2bn investment was completed in December.

Sky Sports News reported this week that United would want to speak to Brentford manager Thomas Frank, former Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ipswich Town player Kieran McKenna should Ten Hag leave the club.

It was also revealed that the United States I have already spoken to McKenna’s representatives. via new CEO Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox last week.

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Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett reports that Manchester United officials have met with representatives of Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna.

Asked if Ratcliffe and Brailsford wished him luck ahead of the FA Cup final, Ten Hag replied: “Yes, of course. We are together. They are, since January, part of this club and they want us to win trophies.

“The club hasn’t won that many trophies in the last 10 years, so now we have a second chance in two years. It’s a great opportunity to win another trophy.”

Ten Hag once again highlighted United’s injury misfortune and explained why they failed to achieve a better result in the Premier League.

According Premier League injuriesTen Hag’s side suffered 45 separate injuries during the 2023/24 league season, the most of any top-flight club, while also having 21 individual players injured, only Tottenham (22) had more.

The United player has also accumulated 1,620 days missed due to injury this season, the sixth-highest figure of any Premier League club.

When asked what United could achieve if he remained as United manager next season, Ten Hag replied: “We are definitely competitive to be in the top four.

“But in the competition, in the Premier League, there are a lot of teams at the moment fighting to be in the top four. But we are definitely there.

“Also, we would have been (in the top four) this season, if the players had been available. But that is the most important thing that has to change, that the players are available throughout the season.”

Ten Hag: Three finals in two years, not so bad

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Ten Hag said he is only concerned about the job he has to do in the FA Cup final as rumors about his future at the club were addressed.

Saturday will mark Ten Hag’s second FA Cup final as United manager, having guided them to Wembley this time last year, only for neighbors Manchester City to beat them 2-1.

With United having reached Wembley three times in the two years since the Dutchman took charge, Ten Hag was keen to defend his domestic cup record at the club as they are in a “transitional period”.

“I think it’s a fact, it’s the truth, that this club is in a period of transition,” Ten Hag said.

“We have progressed a lot of players to higher levels; some younger ones also came into the team and became internationals, also selected for the Copa America for the Euros, which is very good.

“We want to improve the squad, we want to create a team for the future and in the meantime we want to win trophies. And again on Saturday we have another chance to win a big trophy. This is the third final in two years. I would say that’s not so bad .

“Many forget this.

Ten Hag was also asked what he could achieve if he could tap into his team’s young core with a few transfers over the summer.

“We are definitely competitive to be in the top four,” he said. “But in the competition, in the Premier League, there are many teams at the moment fighting to be in the top four.

“But we are definitely there. Also, we would have been there this season, if the players had been available. But that is the most important thing that has to change, that the players are available throughout the season.”

“We were better than City in last year’s FA Cup final”

Bruno Fernandes reacts after Manchester City's second goal
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Man Utd were beaten by Man City in the FA Cup final last season

Ten Hag also insisted his United team were better than City in last year’s FA Cup final, despite Pep Guardiola’s side winning the trophy.

United fell behind after 12 seconds thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s quick-fire opening goal, and while Bruno Fernandes equalized from a penalty after a controversial decision, Gundogan scored the winner in the second half.

“Last season you can’t change it anymore, but when we analyze that game, we were better than them,” Ten Hag said.

“I have some data and on almost all occasions we were better than them, not in terms of possession, they were much better in possession, they had more possession. But all the other facts, like reaching the final third, creating opportunities and shooting. In the objective, every piece of information we were better than them.

“On Saturday we are going to have to suffer, sacrifice possession because they are good at that. We have to fight and organize ourselves defensively, and if we can do it, we have a chance. We know they play at very high levels.” .

“We have to reach those levels. We want to be the best. That’s our goal.”

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