Manchester United plotting Erik ten Hag contract talks; Dutchman fully backed amid difficult start and off-field issues - Report
Manchester United are reportedly preparing to open contract talks with Erik ten Hag despite the club's struggles so far this season.
90min reports that Red Devils chief executive Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough are very happy with Ten Hag's reign thus far. They are backing the Dutch tactician despite his side's poor start to the season.
Manchester United have suffered three defeats in six league games. They sit ninth in the Premier League and also suffered a 4-3 defeat to Bayern Munich on their return to UEFA Champions League football.
Despite this, the Old Trafford hierarchy believes Ten Hag is the right man to take United back to the top of English football. He signed a three-year contract when he arrived from Ajax in May 2022.
The Dutch tactician guided Manchester United to a third-place finish in his first season in charge. He also ended the club's six-year trophy drought as they won the Carabao Cup in February.
Ten Hag's current deal has a one-year option of extension but talks over a new deal were already penciled in for around 18 months into the initial contract. The higher-ups at Old Trafford have already contacted the coach's representatives.
The Red Devils boss has tried changing the culture of the club after being told to 'set and control standards' by the hierarchy. This led to Cristiano Ronaldo's departure last season after the Portuguese icon clashed with the former Ajax boss.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag has exiled Jadon Sancho from his first team after the England international hit back at comments from his manager. He denied the coach's claims that he'd been dropped because of underperforming in training and insisted he was being scapegoated.
Sancho removed this statement from his X (formerly Twitter) account but has refused to apologize to Ten Hag. He's no longer training with the first team as a result.
Alongside all these issues is the uncertainty of Manchester United potentially changing ownership. The Glazers placed the club up for sale in November last year but there is still no end in sight regarding the Old Trafford outfit changing hands.
Ten Hag praises Andre Onana after his display in Manchester United's win against Crystal Palace
Andre Onana has endured a difficult start to life at Manchester United. The Cameroonian goalkeeper made a disastrous error in his side's defeat to Bayern in Group A of the Champions League on September 20.
However, Onana was impressive in the Red Devils' 3-0 win against Crystal Palace in round three of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday (September 26). He made two saves, won one ground duel and displayed his superb passing range throughout.
Ten Hag heaped praise on the 27-year-old who earned his third clean sheet of the season. He told Manchester United's official website:
“Of course, it’s always when you [get a] clean sheet, it will always give the ‘keeper confidence, especially when you contribute, when you have some great saves, like on Saturday, when he had that header, it was a very important save there, and now in the end, he had two fantastic saves."
Onana reunited with Ten Hag at Old Trafford in the summer, joining from Inter Milan for £47.2 million. He previously played under the United boss at Ajax.