Man Utd duo 'could have deals ripped up' by Sir Jim Ratcliffe even if Erik ten Hag stays


Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United assistants Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren have reportedly not been given guarantees over their futures beyond the summer. Minority owners INEOS are set to overhaul the sporting department at Old Trafford with no assurances given to staff.

Ten Hag, Van der Gaag and McClaren all signed three-year contracts when they were appointed by United in 2022. However, results this season have largely been disappointing and INEOS chiefs, including Sir Jim Ratcliffe, could decide to part ways with the trio.

Reports claim that Ten Hag will either need to qualify for the Champions League or win a trophy this season to be certain of keeping his job. The Dutchman could be helped if the Premier League wins a fifth spot for the European competition, with United in sixth.

But even if Ten Hag is retained at Old Trafford beyond this season, there is reportedly no guarantee that his staff will remain in place. According to the Daily Mail, assistants Van der Gaag and McClaren are at risk even though they still have a year left on their respective contracts.

Van der Gaag worked with Ten Hag at Ajax. Former England manager McClaren returned to Old Trafford having previously been No. 2 to Sir Alex Ferguson from 1999 to 2001.

It is claimed that other members of the backroom team, including forwards coach Benni McCarthy, have deals that expire this summer. Some of those individuals have reportedly been seeking assurances over their futures.

There is set to be a significant shake-up of the sporting operation at United. INEOS still hope to appoint Dan Ashworth as sporting director despite Newcastle placing the former Football Association guru on gardening leave and demanding a huge compensation package.

Jason Wilcox is widely expected to be appointed as the club’s new technical director. Wilcox has been working as Southampton’s director of football and was previously head of Manchester City’s academy.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag is hoping that an FA Cup victory over Liverpool on Sunday could provide the momentum needed to kick on and qualify for the Champions League come the end of the season.

"On Sunday we have another good opportunity to get the momentum,” the United head coach said on Friday. “I think the players, the team, have shown lately since January onwards we have had a lot of good games with a lot of wins. We feel the momentum. I think they have that belief, good confidence and good spirit.

“We are ready and I don't think about the opposition. I respect them, as I do every opposition. We know where their strengths are and where their weaknesses are.

"They are very consistent. They play good football, have very good performances and get very good results."

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