Man Utd board 'eye up' boss who lasted less than a year in Prem to replace Erik ten Hag


Manchester United are considering the appointment of former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui to replace Erik ten Hag if the latter is sacked, according to reports. The Dutchman has endured a torrid start to his second season at Old Trafford, with United crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday to pile even more pressure on his shoulders.

It came after United were humiliated at home by Bournemouth over the weekend in what was arguably the worst result of Ten Hag's spell in charge. The Red Devils are now said to be considering a change in the dugout, with their current boss facing a battle to save his job over the coming weeks.

Lopetegui has emerged as a surprise candidate to succeed Ten Hag if he is sacked in the not-too-distant future, according to Relevo. The 57-year-old was most recently in charge of Wolves but lasted just nine months before leaving by mutual consent to be replaced by Gary O'Neil.

It is said that Lopetegui would jump at the opportunity to take charge of United in the event of an impending managerial change. He reportedly feels that he has the 'ideal knowledge' to turn things around for the Red Devils, who have lost nearly half of their games in the Premier League this season.

The Spaniard is also said to be determined to continue his career in England after rejecting a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia earlier this year. United are thought to be fond of Lopetegui after being left impressed by his work at Wolves, as well as his grasp of the language and his prior success in Europe while at Sevilla.

Lopetegui also knows several United players well, having overseen Sergio Reguilon's transition to first-team football during his time in charge of Real Madrid. He is also said to have a good relationship with Raphael Varane and Casemiro, who are two hugely important figures in United's dressing room.

It remains to be seen if United will eventually decide to relieve Ten Hag of his duties, with another poor result in their next game against Liverpool set to plunge his future into greater doubt. Rio Ferdinand recently urged his former club to stick with Ten Hag until the end of the season, but only if the Dutchman finally starts to implement a clear playing identity.

He told talkSPORT: "Are you just going to keep changing managers when the players are going out there and aren’t performing? But with Ten Hag, I want to see a style of football.

"I can’t see a style of football and an identity and a philosophy when you look at so many teams around the league [and see that], whether they’re near the top or the bottom.

"At this moment in time, I don’t know. I’d give him until the end of the season at least, but within that a new structure behind the scenes is imminent. I think that can have a real say on his fortunes or those of whoever would replace him, because I don’t think any manager could come in here and change things, it’s been proven."

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