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Man Utd could bring back familiar face to replace Ten Hag as club 'make contact'


MANCHESTER UNITED have been linked with a shock move to bring Kieran McKenna back to replace Erik ten Hag as manager.

Pressure is mounting on the Dutch coach after Arsenal beat the Red Devils 1-0 on Sunday to leave them stuck in eighth place and on course for their worst Premier League finish.

Serious questions still remain over Erik ten Hag's future


Serious questions still remain over Erik ten Hag’s futureCredit: Alamy
Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has been linked with his job


Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna has been linked with his jobCredit: PA

United are now at serious risk of missing out on European football altogether and have lost 19 games in all competitions, which is the most since the 1978/79 season.

The latest setback was also their ninth at Old Trafford this campaign, the joint-most at home in a single season in their history.

United do have an FA Cup Final with Man City on May 25 to look forward to – and it is after that when new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to decide on Ten Hag’s future.

The likes of Gareth Southgate and Thomas Tuchel have been linked with the job, now a new report from The Guardian says that Ipswich Town manager McKenna has emerged as a surprise candidate ahead of tonight’s clash with Newcastle.

The 38-year-old was part of the United coaching staff under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for six years before taking over at the Tractor Boys in League One in December 2021.

He has since led Ipswich to back-to-back promotions and they will compete in the Premier league for the first time since 2002.

McKenna is “highly regarded by the United ­hierarchy” and is now “under serious con­sideration to take over” after the post-Wembley review on Ten Hag.

This update states that “initial contact is believed to have already been made between United and McKenna’s representatives” although the report states that “sources have stressed that it is still ‘early days’”.


McKenna rejected an approach from Crystal Palace earlier this season and remains under contract at Portman Road in 2027.

He started as U18s coach at United after joining from Tottenham in 2016 and then he went on to become one of Solskjaer’s assistants.

Erik ten Hag says Man Utd have to ‘fight hard’ to get win against Newcastle

Ipswich understandably are desperate to hang on to him and “any move is likely to involve paying considerable compensation”.

This report also added that “Ipswich’s owners are planning to hold talks with the Northern Irishman in the next few weeks” over his future.

And they also believe that they can “convince him to lead them into the Premier League”.

Pundits’ verdict on Ten Hag’s future

Where do the pundits stand on Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United future?

Michael Owen – He has to go

“He cannot, simply cannot, manage this team next season. He’s not good enough.”

Teddy Sheringham – Might stay if he wins Cup but should go

“If United win the FA Cup, he could stay. But, for me, changes are needed and United need to get it done sooner than later.”

Jamie Carragher – Sacked

“I don’t see how Erik ten Hag stays. It’s just performance after performance.”

Gary Neville – Stay if he wins the FA Cup

“To sack a manager who’s won two trophies in his first two seasons at the club I think would be extreme.”

Louis Saha – On the fence

“I don’t see it as clearly but they need changes from the players but they need changes from him as well.”

Alan Shearer – Sacked

“I believe the future of the Man Utd manager is already determined. Even if they win the FA Cup I think he’s gone.”

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