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Dan Ashworth holds secret meeting with Graham Potter as former Chelsea manager is favourite to replace Erik ten Hag if Dutchman is sacked

Graham Potter is the favourite of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir David Brailsford to become Manchester United manager if Erik Ten Hag is sacked, according to the Sun.

The Red Devils’ incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth has held a secret meeting with the former Chelsea boss, with the duo getting together last weekend.

They were together at Brighton & Hove Albion, and a reunion could soon be on the cards with pressure mounting on Ten Hag.

Ratcliffe met with Potter last December. The United co-owner wanted the 48-year-old at OGC Nice but now has him in his sights for the Red Devils job.

The Old Trafford club have failed to impress under Ten Hag and could miss out on Champions League qualification at the end of the season.

Man United face Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and failure to leave with a positive result could see them start struggling for Europa League qualification.

The Red Devils hope to agree a deal with Newcastle United for Ashworth after he was placed on gardening leave, but the recruitment guru has already started working behind the scenes.

Man United want to begin their much-needed and long-overdue squad overhaul this summer, but failure to finish in the top four would affect their chances of landing their desired targets.

Potter was sacked by Chelsea last April after just six months in charge, but he did a fine job with the Seagulls and has snubbed several offers as he waits for the right job to get back into management.

Ten Hag is fighting for his job and will be hoping he can do enough in the coming weeks to convince Ratcliffe he is the man to take the club to the next level.

Finishing in the top four is the best way to do so, and that is still very feasible, with only eight points separating them from the Champions League places.