Manchester United have reportedly settled on Erik ten Hag to become the club’s next manager, and a verbal agreement has been reached between the two parties for him to take over starting next season, according to many different outlets.
However, the road to finalising that settlement on Ten Hag was not a short process… It was thoroughly conducted by John Murtough, with sources telling ESPN that the process to hire a new manager was “impressive, strategic and well-constructed.”
After an initial round of scouting, it was widly reported that Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique, Julen Lopetegui and Erik ten Hag were the four main candidates that were given serious consideration, as the club quickly learned that any other targets, such as Zinedine Zidane and Julian Nagelsmann, were not going to be viable options.
Each of these four men were then given an interview, where they presented their thoughts on the club and how they would go about revitalising Manchester United.
When current Sevilla FC manager Lopetegui was questioned in a press conference on if he would be moving to Manchester United come the end of the season or if he would be staying at the Spanish club for the further year, he responded that he had “no doubt” that he would be staying on at Sevilla.
According to ESPN though, this is not the only reason why Lopetegui did not end up as the next man in charge.
Although he was considered for the job because of his tactical and technical abilities, sources told ESPN that a concern within Old Trafford was that United risked hiring “another Unai Emery” by appointing a coach with a successful track record at smaller clubs, but one unproven at the very highest level.
Enrique on the other hand did have the track record of success that the club favoured, however the 2022 World Cup being held in December scuppered any chances of the current Spanish national side manager of being appointed in June of this year.
The next couple of months – Erik ten Hag’s first transfer window and induction into Old Trafford – is going to be a pivotal point in the club’s next few seasons. Only time will tell if this slightly more risky appointment will pay off.