Man Utd identify frontrunner to become manager and have Pochettino concern

Manchester United have made Erik ten Hag the frontrunner to become their next manager, with the Dutchman moving ahead of Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui.

United were impressed with Ten Hag after opening talks with the 52-year-old earlier in the week as they consider their options for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag has won multiple trophies since his appointment at Ajax in 2017 and has been praised for instilling an exciting style of football at the club.

Manchester United want their next manager to create a strong playing identity and for that reason view Ten Hag as the frontrunner to take over in the summer, according to The Times.

It is claimed Pochettino, Enrique and Lopetegui are still being considered but that United are concerned the trio are more interested in rebuilding the club through transfers, rather than addressing the playing style.

United will still make contact with Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino but the former Tottenham man now faces the task of knocking Ten Hag off the perch as the club’s No. 1 choice.

Pochettino’s PSG have stormed 12 points clear in Ligue 1 but the Paris club are essentially judged in Europe and his side were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in the round of 16.

Enrique has been in charge of Spain’s national team since 2018 but the 51-year-old also had spells at Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Roma before that.

Lopetegui, meanwhile, took over at Sevilla in 2019 following his brief stint in charge of Real Madrid, where he was sacked after less than five months.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has also been linked with Manchester United since Blues owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government, but the Red Devils accept they are unlikely to strike a deal with the German.

Ralf Rangnick was put in interim charge of the Red Devils after Solskjaer’s sacking in November but is not believed to be in the running to become the club’s permanent manager and will instead move into a consultancy role in Manchester.

Brazil legend Rivaldo is an admirer of Ten Hag and believes he would be a ‘great signing’ for United, who are currently sixth in the Premier League and out of the Champions League after their defeat to Atletico Madrid earlier in the month.

‘Looking at what Ten Hag has been doing with Ajax, I’m sure he could be a great option to become United’s next manager. He is an excellent coach,’ Rivaldo told Betfair.

‘His attacking style and attractive football fits United’s identity and it’s a pleasure to watch his Ajax team playing.

‘So I am excited to imagine what he could do with a United squad filled with some of the best players in the world. He would be a great signing for Manchester United.’

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