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Kieran McKenna responds to INEOS admiration for Man United manager role



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Credit: Sky Sports

Kieran McKenna has responded to the reported interest from Manchester United’s co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS to return to the club in a managerial role.

McKenna, 37, previously worked at United as a first-team coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Jose Mourinho. He departed the club following the sacking of Solskjær to join Ipswich Town as the head coach.

When he took charge in December 2021, Ipswich were loitering in mid-table in League One after a terrible start to the campaign. McKenna steadied the ship before promoting the club to the Championship the following season.

In his first full campaign in charge of the club, McKenna’s eye-catching brand of football led to Ipswich finishing second in League One with 98 points and a staggering 101 goals scored.

McKenna’s style has since translated amazingly in England’s second flight, with the newly promoted side currently sitting second in the Championship table and just one point behind table-topping Leicester City.

There hasn’t been a major cash injection or an overhauled squad. McKenna has mostly been dealing with the players who he had in League One, but they are punching above their weight and could reach the Premier League next term.

Man United interest in McKenna

Meanwhile, back at United, there is doubt over Erik ten Hag’s future in the hot seat. Several managers have been linked to the job if he does leave.

According to FootballInsider, the Old Trafford club are big admirers of McKenna, and there is a ‘concrete’ interest in making him the next manager.

INEOS are conducting an overhaul at the club which has started at the top. Omar Berrada has been added as the new chief executive, while Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox will join as sporting and technical directors.

McKenna responds to Man United interest

Despite the reported interest from United and other clubs, McKenna is planning to remain at Ipswich, particularly if they are promoted to the Premier League, says Ben Jacobs.

The journalist also explained how many clubs are monitoring the 37-year-old with a longer-term view, as has been the case with Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim.

Jacobs told GiveMeSport: “With Kieran McKenna specifically, he’s very much admired by the INEOS team, because he’s doing a fantastic job at Ipswich. But there’s no indication that he will leave Ipswich.

“If Ipswich go up, McKenna has every indication to stay. He’s done a fantastic job and when you do a fantastic job, you get plaudits. That’s really all it is at this point. In the long term, a lot of top clubs start monitoring young managers doing well, perhaps with a view to three, four or five years time.

“That’s been the case with Ruben Amorim as well. Clubs were looking at him three or four years ago, knowing it would come to this point. That is what succession planning is. That’s what a lot of top clubs are doing with McKenna.

“But my understanding is that McKenna wants to stay at Ipswich and if Ipswich go up, he will stay at Ipswich. It would be probably too big a step up anyway for him to go from Ipswich to Manchester United this summer.”