Ten Hag’s Manchester United future: De Zerbi eyed as Dutchman's replacement

Could Roberto De Zerbi replace Erik ten Hag as Manchester United head coach? (Credit: Imago/Colorsport)

Ten Hag’s Manchester United future: De Zerbi eyed as Dutchman's replacement

Seye Omidiora 13:56 - 27.02.2024

Is Erik ten Hag’s time at Manchester United nearing its conclusion, as the Red Devils are reportedly keen on Brighton & Hove Albion’s Roberto De Zerbi?

Manchester United are reportedly considering Erik ten Hag’s future at the club, with Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi the club’s preferred candidate to replace the Dutchman.

This is according to the report in the Manchester Evening News in which Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group are looking at replacements for the Red Devils boss, whose side were defeated by Fulham at the weekend.

Ten Hag’s uncertain future at Manchester United

According to the report, INEOS Sport are “not sold on” Ten Hag, who ended Manchester United’s wait for a first title since 2017 by winning the EFL Cup against Newcastle United in his debut 2022-23 season with the Premier League club.

This season has not gone as smoothly for the Red Devils, whose oscillating performances and results have them sixth in the Premier League after 10 losses, already more than the previous campaign’s nine.

Ten Hag’s men exited Europe entirely, failing to progress out of their Champions League group comprising Bayern Munich, Copenhagen and Galatasaray. The report suggests that De Zerbi is Ratcliffe’s first-choice managerial replacement if the club opt for a change in the dugout.

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag's Manchester United side could not progress in their Champions League group (Credit: Imago/Sportsphoto)

Could De Zerbi replace Ten Hag at Manchester United?

Despite the Brighton boss not enjoying a perfect first full season at the Seagulls, the Italian manager’s stock remains high, with Manchester City said to be looking at the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk trainer if and when Pep Guardiola eventually departs the Etihad Stadium.

De Zerbi’s team are currently ranked seventh in the league, a place and five points shy of Manchester United after 26 games. The 44-year-old manager guided the club to a sixth-place finish last season, thus leading the East Sussex outfit into this season’s Europa League, their first European journey, where they meet Roma in the last-16 of the competition after last Friday’s draw.

Speculation over De Zerbi’s Brighton future is not anticipated to lose steam over the coming weeks and should intensify in the summer.

Roberto De Zerbi
Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi is touted as Ten Hag's replacement at Manchester United

What comes next for Ten Hag and Manchester United?

Ten Hag’s men are slated for a fifth-round FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, a competition providing Manchester United their final option for a trophy in 2023-24.

Afterwards, the Red Devils return to Premier League duty in the Manchester derby to be held at the Etihad, keen to return to winning ways after last Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Fulham.

Ten Hag’s side battle Everton and Sheffield United on March 9 and 16 before the imminent international break.