Gary Neville shares 'hunch' about Sir Jim Ratcliffe plan for Erik ten Hag at Man United

Erik ten Hag still faces an uncertain future at Manchester United
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images)


Gary Neville has called for Manchester United to make a decision on Erik ten Hag now - but believes Gareth Southgate is not the right man to take over if the Dutchman is sacked.

Ineos and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are still mulling over the future of Ten Hag after United finished in their lowest ever Premier League position of eighth. It had been reported that the 50-year-old was facing the axe regardless of whether they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley last month.

United earned a shock 2-1 victory over City to win the FA Cup and that has seemingly given Ten Hag more time, with Ratcliffe and Ineos yet to make a firm decision on his future. Ratcliffe held talks with Thomas Tuchel in Monaco last week but the former Bayern Munich boss is planning to take a break from coaching, while Gareth Southgate, Thomas Frank and Graham Potter are among the other names linked.

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Delivering his opinion on Ten Hag's situation, Neville told The Overlap: "It isn’t cruel to have kept Erik ten Hag hanging for two weeks whilst Manchester United review the last two years of his work.

"He must accept that the season he delivered wasn’t good enough in terms of the heavy defeats that United suffered and the lack of cohesion in the team structure, especially when you consider the shots on goal conceded.

"The fact is, he probably would have been gone by now if he had lost the FA Cup final and no one was really anticipating a performance like that, a display on which you could almost hang your hat. But I don’t think he can complain that United have taken their time to consider options. Any Manchester United manager finishing eighth knows that their job is on the line."

It has been over two weeks since the FA Cup final and ex-United defender Neville has urged the club to make a decision in the near future. As well as that, Neville also had his say on the proposed appointment of Southgate following Euro 2024 - something he simply cannot get behind.

He added: "There’s no way that they can hang on waiting for Southgate. I don’t think they will let it go on into the EUROs as that will start to look clunky and clumsy. The longer this goes on the more people will think Southgate is in the frame and that will turn the heat on him.

"I don’t actually see Gareth at Manchester United as a fit for him or the club. But regardless of that, if they do want him, I don’t think Gareth would risk his reputation, for integrity, by doing anything to jeopardise this EURO 2024 campaign. As such, I don’t think he will be Manchester United’s manager at the start of next season.

"For me, it’s inconceivable and impossible that ten Hag could turn up at pre-season training in early July, run the club for a few weeks, allow England to finish their EUROs campaign so that Sir Dave Brailsford then gets the opportunity to talk to Southgate and appoint him sometime in August.

"United need a decision for the new season now. It can’t be made in pre-season. In my role as a club owner, we would always do it within a week of the season, partly because there was a level of employment responsibility, but also to give yourself the best chance for the new season. I understand why United have taken a little longer, but with no real candidate emerging, they need now to confirm ten Hag.

"Even though it looks like they’ve spoken to other people, I suspect everyone can be grown up, shake hands and get on with the job, even though ten Hag knows he isn’t their No.1 choice."