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Erik ten Hag’s job safe amid INEOS takeover, but United braced for reforms

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is not under threat of losing his job despite the impending takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, The Athletic reports.

The Man United hierarchy has scheduled a meeting for Thursday to ratify Ratcliffe’s proposal to acquire a 25% stake at the club, granting him substantial authority over sporting decisions.

Ratcliffe is determined to authorise a substantial transformation at the club, but Ten Hag’s position does not appear to be under immediate threat. 

Following their exploits during the Dutchman’s debut campaign in the Premier League, which ended with a third-place finish and League Cup success, Man United were expected to compete for the title this term.

However, the Red Devils have endured a massively underwhelming start to the 2023/24, taking just 12 points from their initial eight Premier League fixtures.

They have also fallen to defeat in each of their opening two Champions League outings this season, further complicating their chances of making it to the knockout rounds.

Despite the underperformance, Ratcliffe and INEOS are understood to be huge admirers of Ten Hag’s work and intend to keep the manager around.

But there will be changes in other departments, especially recruitment, with INEOS reportedly keen to appoint former AS Monaco talent spotter Paul Mitchell as Man United’s new sporting director.

John Murtough and Darren Fletcher currently oversee Man United’s recruitment, which has seen the Glazer family invest around £400 million into the Ten Hag administration.

The manager also has considerable influence on the transfer market activity, preferring to work with former associates familiar with his tactical set-up.

Mitchell’s potential arrival could shake things up, but INEOS want to appoint a specialist to oversee and improve the club’s recruitment strategy.

Calls for transformative change have reverberated throughout the Glazers’ ownership of the club, and Ratcliffe’s investment could catalyse the long-anticipated reforms.

Although Ten Hag’s position seems secure in the short term, the club’s future could witness significant changes if the INEOS bid is rubber-stamped.