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17th Jun 2024

Gary Neville says United were right to ‘flirt’ with other managers

Zoe Hodges

‘The club were well within their rights to see what was out there’

Former Manchester United defender and pundit, Gary Neville, believes United were within their right to ‘flirt’ with other managers before deciding to keep Erik ten Hag and offer him a contract extension.

The Dutchman had to wait 17 days after his team’s FA Cup final win over City to find out whether he was keeping his job as United manager, with Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino both linked to the job.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Neville said: “It’s not perfect, waiting two and a half weeks after the season has ended to make a decision on the manager and quite obviously flirting with other managers in the meantime.

“I do believe that because Ten Hag had such a disappointing season in the league, the club were well within their rights to see what was out there in the market.”

The ex-United defender went on to say that the manager market has been difficult for several top clubs in Europe and that United have ‘come to the right conclusion in the end.’

Sky Sports News on X: “🗣️ “They were within their rights to review and look at other options” Gary Neville discusses how Manchester United handled the situation regarding Erik ten Hag’s future 🔴” / X

The club has gone through a lot of change in recent months with the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a new CEO, sporting director and technical director, and Neville believes that stability in the football side is a sensible decision.

“I’m happy that they’ve maintained that stability into next season. I also think they were within their rights to review at the end of the season and look at other options.”

Ten Hag told Dutch media over the weekend that United came to him whilst he was on holiday in Ibiza with his family, to tell him they wanted him to stay.

He said: “They spoke with Thomas Tuchel but came to the conclusion they already have the best manager.”

United won the FA Cup, beating Manchester rivals, City, 2-1in the final at Wembley but finished a disappointing eighth in the Premiership.

Neville continued: “He’s got to accept that when you finish in the league position that Manchester United did, there is a chance that you could lose your job. So, I think that he should be happy, I think that the club should be happy.”

Ten Hag has one year left on his contract but according to the Daily Mail, is in talks with the club about a possible two-year extension.

Related links:

Erik ten Hag says Man United ‘came to the conclusion they already have the best manager’

Erik ten Hag gives brutal assessment of Gareth Southgate’s managerial style following narrow England win