Manchester United are reportedly closing in on making Erik ten Hag their new permanent manager, finally replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Manchester Evening News report that the deal is almost done, although an official announcement will have to wait until after Ajax’s Dutch Cup final on April 17.
They also claim that United are set to defy the majority of their squad, for whom ten Hag was not the most popular candidate.
To be fair, many supporters would probably argue that is a good thing.
This dressing room has not shown the character, personality or standards you would expect from a Manchester United team this season.
Their judgement is probably not what should be uppermost in anybody’s mind, and in any case, United need a manager with a clear blueprint and a philosophy.
Ten Hag should be laying down the gauntlet and seeing which players want to come with him. The ones who don’t should be gone.
The report also claims that Cristiano Ronaldo vetoed the potential appointment of Antonio Conte when Solskjaer was sacked.
Hiring the Italian was a prospect United considered in October, before eventually electing to go with an interim manager in the shape of Ralf Rangnick.
The pair never worked together at Juventus, with their stints in Turin coming years apart, but Ronaldo was in Serie A when Conte won the league last season.
United’s board reportedly shared Ronaldo’s reservations over Conte, meaning he essentially backed up their concerns.
It is not clear what Ronaldo’s issue would be, but there were question marks over his suitability for United because of his style of football and combative personality.
It looks like United are going in a different direction, with a manager with a great reputation for coaching improvement out of players and using an attractive playing style.
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