Erik ten Hag reveals Sir Jim Ratcliffe plans to discuss Manchester United future

The Ineos CEO will now have control of football operations at Old Trafford, with Ten Hag under pressure to revitalise the struggling Red Devils

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Friday 29 December 2023 19:15 GMT
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Erik ten Hag has claimed that Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to work with him and said he is keen to be part of Manchester United’s future as he expressed confidence that the new regime at Old Trafford will not sack him.

Ineos have agreed a £1.3bn deal with the Glazers, United’s owners since 2005, which will give Ratcliffe a 29 per cent stake and control of footballing operations.

Ten Hag had enjoyed the backing of the Glazers, outgoing chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough while, under the terms of the agreement struck with Ratcliffe, United cannot dismiss him without the agreement of Ineos.

But while United have lost 13 games already this season and crashed out of the Champions League, Ten Hag believes he has the support of the new investors.

However, the Dutchman said he has been so busy he has not had talks with Ineos though Sir Dave Brailsford, who will take up a place on the board, was at Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Ten Hag said: “They want to work with me and I want to work with them. We will have the conversations and meetings. We will see.

“The schedule is so condensed I didn't have the time so far to speak with them but it will come. I look forward. I'm focused on the game so far, so I said no, in this moment I don't want to have distractions. In the coming days, weeks, there will be time for us, then I'll know more. I think it's a good thing, it's very positive.

“We are looking really forward to work together. Ineos wants to work with me in this structure and I want to work with them.

“We always want to win, it doesn't matter who is the leader. We are appointed here in this area, we need a winning culture no matter who is in the lead, no matter who is the owner. But, of course, owners can inspire you.”

Erik ten Hag admits he has yet to meet with minority owners Ineos
Erik ten Hag admits he has yet to meet with minority owners Ineos (PA Wire)

Mason Mount, who has missed United’s last nine games, has returned to training, though he will not be available for Saturday’s trip to Nottingham Forest.

Ten Hag said he expects United’s injury problems to ease in a couple of weeks as he suggested he could have a much stronger squad for the clash against Tottenham on 14 January.

"I think in mid-January we expect many players back,” he added. “Mason, Casemiro, [Lisandro] Martinez, [Tyrell] Malacia. Harry Maguire, of course. We expect many players to return in January.”

United are seventh at the halfway stage in the Premier League but Ten Hag said: “Not any team could deal with the setbacks we had. We are not satisfied but we have to be pleased with the number of points. When we have all the players back, this squad is strong.

“We proved it against Arsenal, Liverpool and [Aston] Villa, the numbers one, two and three in the league. We could have won all the games. We didn't but we showed how hungry we are. With the right mentality, we can beat anyone."

Ten Hag said United are in talks with Cameroon about Andre Onana after the goalkeeper, who has been an ever-present this season, was called up for the African Cup of Nations.

“Could he be available for the Wigan FA Cup tie?” Ten Hag added. “The situation is that we're talking, we have good relationships with all the federations.”

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