Published On: Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has ‘very important’ message for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS | Football | Sport

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has warned Sir Jim Ratcliffe that INEOS must prioritise the ‘very important’ task of replacing John Murtough. Earlier this week, United announced the departure of Murtough, who had been the club’s football director.

Ten Hag shared a positive relationship with Murtough, leaning on the 53-year-old for support during his two years in charge. The Dutchman wants a replacement brought in soon to aid the transition into next season.

He may be waiting a while, though, with United locked in negotiations with Newcastle over sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has been placed on a lengthy gardening leave absence by the Magpies.

Speaking ahead of United’s trip to Bournemouth, Ten Hag said of Murtough’s exit: “I think it’s very important that the new ownership is working on this, to replace his function to go into a new season.

“For the moment, of course, I miss his support, the surround support, you miss that. He has moved on, we worked very well together, so I say thank you to John and wish him all the best for the future.

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“As I said previously, I work with the new ownership very well, closely together, so it doesn’t change the way I work here. It’s perfect, still perfect, so I am happy with that, but we want to set the right conditions to be successful.”

INEOS are set to make huge changes to the hierarchy at Old Trafford. Ten Hag finds his own job under threat after a difficult campaign in which United may fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Incoming CEO Omar Berrada will join from rivals Manchester City before the start of next season, replacing Richard Arnold. United are also hoping to appoint Southampton’s Jason Wilcox as technical director with Darren Fletcher, who currently occupies the position, moved into a new role.

INEOS are also keen to lure former FA technical director Ashworth to become the club’s new sporting director. However, the 53-year-old was placed on 18 months’ gardening leave by Newcastle in February. It is claimed that the Tyneside club, who hired Ashworth in 2022, want £20m in compensation.

Meanwhile, United go to Bournemouth on Saturday hoping to avenge a horror 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford earlier this season. Ten Hag will have Marcus Rashford available for selection but Scott McTominay remains out with a knee injury.

Asked about the duo, the United boss said: “Scott, I don’t think so, we have a training today, so we have a day, and he will push, because he’s so keen to be a part of it tomorrow, so it’s very questionable.

“Rashford trained yesterday, so how he has recovered from it. We have another training today and then we will make a decision on it.”

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