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Erik ten Hag denies report that he’s refusing to give up Manchester United control



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Credit: Manchester United

Much has been made of where Erik ten Hag’s future lies following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent acquisition of Manchester United.

INEOS, Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s company, are taking full control of all sporting activities at Manchester United, and these are the activities that surround Erik ten Hag.

After a poor end to 2023, the status of Ten Hag’s job at Old Trafford was up for debate, with speculation surrounding his future rife. To add to this, ESPN reported that Ten Hag wants to retain his influence in transfers by keeping a veto that was written into his contract, but that INEOS wanted to get rid of it.

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INEOS are also looking to install a sporting director at the club, who Ten Hag will report to, and in his pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of the club’s trip to Luton Town, Ten Hag has was asked about how he feels with regards to this.

“I think it’s very important that you are [on] one page,” he replied. “About football philosophy, about football tactics, about the profiles of players you need in a team.

“It’s very important to have a very good communication, so that you get the right players. Because it’s one of the most important factors to develop a good team, that you have the right players, with the right players and the right characters. So, that means you have to do a lot of work so you get aligned. It’s a long process to get the right players in.”

Pressed further, Ten Hag was asked if he had ever worked with a sporting director before and if he had any input in decisions.

“I worked in several situations where sometimes I was alone in charge, sometimes I had the cooperation,” he explained.

“So, I’ve dealt with several situations, but I think it’s so specific, especially on the top, also so intense with the number of games, that you need people around you who are on the same page, are working on the same targets, to achieve the high ambitions.”

Finally, he was asked if he has any input in the decision to appoint one at Old Trafford. He responded by claiming that he is “very happy” with the system that is being built, which squashes rumours that he is refusing to give up his veto should INEOS ask.

“I’m here and I know in what construction I am working. And I’m very happy in this construction. So, I don’t know anything about changes, and I talk with the new or foreseen sporting organisation but it’s not up to me.

“I’m working, and that is my focus point at this moment, on this team, and we plan in this construction, in this organisation, for the future. So, we have a look. We closed the [transfer] window in January, we are working on the plans for the summer.”