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Brentford’s Thomas Frank a “strong contender” for Man United job following Gareth Southgate confirmation



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Thomas Frank is the latest managerial name to be linked to Manchester United as a replacement for Erik ten Hag if he is sacked.

Ten Hag’s position as United manager has been under increasing scrutiny in his second season in charge. The club languishes in eighth place in the Premier League, three points behind Newcastle United, who visit Old Trafford on Wednesday evening and are in sixth.

The spotlight has intensified on the Dutchman since the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS as minority owners as the British billionaire now has sporting control of the Red Devils.

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It has been reported that fans should expect a mass clear-out of players in the summer transfer window, with only a few key members of the squad guaranteed a future at Old Trafford.

This uncertainty about the club’s position has spread to Ten Hag, as many top managerial names, such as Thomas Tuchel, Roberto De Zerbi, and England boss Gareth Southgate, have been linked to Manchester United.

Southgate recently rubbished the reports and confirmed that no conversations between himself and the club have taken place. The 53-year-old insists all his concentration is on the European Championships.

“Well, I’m not a big gambling man, and bookies, they can make their odds, but it’s not conversations that’s been had with me,” Southgate stated.

“I’ve got one thing to focus on. That’s having as successful a tournament with England as possible. Everything else outside of that is a complete irrelevance to me.

“If I start talking about that, then I’m already distracted from what I’m doing. So, I think the country would expect that my focus is on England, and rightly so it is.”

Tuchel is said to be highly rated by Ratcliffe and INEOS, something that he has in common with Thomas Frank, who is reported to be the latest candidate for the job if Ten Hag gets sacked.

According to The Telegraph, Frank is a “strong contender” for the role as the new co-owners want someone who is more of a head coach to focus solely on the team to allow the incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth and new technical director Jason Wilcox to be in charge of other departments such as recruitment.

This is a potential area of tension between Ten Hag and INEOS as the Dutchman has enjoyed a high level of control over club transfers during his tenure, and this head coach style is more in line with how Ratcliffe and his organisation like to run their clubs.

The Brentford boss has a good relationship with INEOS’ director of sport, Sir Dave Brailsford, which will certainly benefit the Dane, who has gained admirers for his work at the London club.

If Frank were appointed, it would certainly be a move that aims to rebuild the club in the long run rather than attempting instant success, which many reports have stated is Ratcliffe’s intention.

Thomas Frank has done wonders at Brentford and has yet to have the chance to test himself at an elite club, so a move to Manchester United could be interesting. However, it seems eerily reminiscent of Graham Potter going to Chelsea.