Man Utd refuse agent meetings to show Ten Hag faith – sources

Manchester United bosses are refusing to meet agents if they believe they are trying to pitch clients to replace Erik ten Hag as manager, sources have told ESPN.

Ten Hag eased the pressure on his position with a 1-0 win over Luton Town on Saturday in United’s last game before the November international break.

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Despite a run of nine defeats in 18 games to start the new campaign, the Dutchman retains the faith of key club officials after finishing third in the Premier League and winning the Carabao Cup last season.

Sources have told ESPN that United chiefs have become frustrated by attempts by agents to push coaches into the running for Ten Hag’s position.

The representative of a well-known manager, who is out of work, had a scheduled meeting cancelled because of concerns the conversation would focus on the potential uncertainty surrounding the manager’s job.

United bosses believe there have been signs of progress during a week which has seen Ten Hag’s team beat Fulham and Luton in the Premier League but lose 4-3 to FC Copenhagen in the Champions League.

However, there’s an acceptance that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s imminent investment will create uncertainty at all levels of the club once it is confirmed, possibly as early as this week.

Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, is close to agreeing a deal to buy a 25% stake.

The terms of the deal could also give Ratcliffe influence over the football side of the business and, according to sources, there are already doubts about the future of current football director John Murtough.

Ratcliffe — alongside INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford — is known to hold a dim view of United’s recruitment over the last decade and is keen to implement measures to improve the way the club work in the transfer market.

Ratcliffe and Brailsford have been impressed by the job done by Ten Hag since he took over as manager in 2022, although the dip in form this season is considered to be alarming.

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