New Man United chief Richard Arnold is ‘backing Ralf Rangnick’s pursuit of Erik ten Hag as the club’s new manager’ even though first-team stars would prefer PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino to take over at Old Trafford this summer
New Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold is reportedly set to defy players’ wish to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s next permanent manager by pursuing Erik ten Hag instead.
Pochettino and ten Hag have long been identified as the two main candidates to take over at Old Trafford next season, once Ralf Rangnick’s reign as interim manager ends.
The German replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November and is expected to be in charge until the end of the season, before moving to a consultancy role for the next two years.
Mauricio Pochettino (L) and Erik ten Hag (R) are the favorites for the Manchester United job
United’s new CEO Richard Arnold is set to review the club’s transfer policy before the summer
Rangnick has championed ten Hag to Arnold and, according to The Sun, the latter is increasingly convinced the Ajax manager is the right man to restore United to the top of English football.
Arnold’s pursuit of ten Hag, however, could cause friction at United after Sportsmail revealed earlier this week several first-team players have indicated they would prefer Pochettino instead.
United have admired the Argentine since he was at Tottenham and Ed Woodward, Arnold’s predecessor at Old Trafford, tried to lure him away from Paris Saint-Germain after sacking Solskjaer.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick wants to move into a two-year consultancy role at the end of the season
When the Ligue 1 giants made clear they would not entertain the possibility of losing the 49-year-old mid-season, Woodward appointed Rangnick instead.
While PSG remain on course to reclaim the Ligue 1 title from Lille, Pochettino’s future at the Parc des Princes remains shrouded in doubt as he is under pressure to deliver a Champions League triumph.
United players are said to be impressed with Pochettino, who took Spurs to the Champions League final in 2019 and established them as a top-four side despite working on a relatively small budget.
United dropped points against Southampton on Saturday and remain outside the top four
Conversely, Rangnick is understood to prefer ten Hag, who has won two Eredivisie titles with Ajax while developing a core of young, talented players.
United are keen to make a decision on their next manager before the end of the season, in order to have Rangnick’s replacement in place as soon as possible so he can play a part in new signings and contract renewals among the current squad.
As reported by Sportsmail on Saturday, Arnold is also expected to review United’s transfer policy amid a widespread feeling at Old Trafford that the club mishandled last month’s window.