Man Utd 'eye Roberto De Zerbi' as Sir Jim Ratcliffe 'holds Erik ten Hag sack talks'


Ratcliffe's £1.3billion investment became official earlier this month, sparking the expectation of significant change on and off the pitch in the coming years.

INEOS are striving to create an elite sporting environment, proven by the capture of new chief executive Omar Berrada and the pursuit of Dan Ashworth as the club's first sporting director.

Questions about whether they would appoint their own manager aligned with United's new direction have been intensified by a poor performance in Ten Hag's second season in charge.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ratcliffe isn't completely sold on the Dutchman as the coach to guide United into an exciting new era where sporting success will finally come first.

It's claimed that INEOS have already held talks over potential replacements should they decide to part ways with Ten Hag at the end of the season or earlier.

The report notes De Zerbi - also on Manchester City's radar in their Pep Guardiola succession plan - as a candidate of interest at Old Trafford.

United will be 11 points behind the top four if they are beaten in the Manchester derby at City on Sunday and Aston Villa win at Luton Town.

Ten Hag has suffered 15 defeats this season, eight of which have come at home, where he lost just twice and beat all of the Premier League's other 'big six' in his maiden campaign.

United's Champions League disaster inked a substantial black mark on his record, crashing out of Europe entirely by finishing rock bottom of Group A with just one win.

The club's defence of the Carabao Cup, which ended their six-year trophy drought last February, was derailed in the fourth round with a 3-0 home loss against Newcastle United.

The report adds that some players and staff have shared doubts over Ten Hag's methods, including his tactical approach and recruitment.

His fortunes will go from bad to worse if United lose at Nottingham Forest for the second time this season and crash out of the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday night.

Even the FA Cup may not save Ten Hag, though.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were all sacked in seasons when United failed to qualify for the Champions League.

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