Manchester United sound out Roberto De Zerbi about becoming new manager

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Roberto De Zerbi has been sounded out as a potential replacement for Erik ten Hag as Manchester United manager.

De Zerbi’s attractive possession-based style of play and the 44‑year‑old Italian’s feat of qualifying Brighton for European football last year for the first time in the club’s history have impressed Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who controls football operations at United having bought a 27.7% stake in the club last year.

It is understood United have contacted De Zerbi with regard to succeeding Ten Hag who, as reported by the Guardian, is likely to be sacked. De Zerbi left Brighton by mutual consent at the end of this ­season. Thomas Tuchel, Kieran McKenna, Mauricio ­Pochettino and Thomas Frank are also on the shortlist to replace Ten Hag, who came out fighting having led United to success in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

“I don’t think about this [my future],” the Dutchman said after his team’s 2-1 victory against Manchester City at Wembley. “I am in a project. We are exactly where we want to be. We are constructing a team. When I took over it was a mess. The team is developing and winning. It is about winning trophies. The team plays to an identity. You need a strong squad.

“Two trophies in two years is not bad. I am not satisfied. If they don’t want me any more I will go [somewhere else] to win trophies because that is what I do in my whole career.”

Tuchel was previously ­favourite to replace Ten Hag but Ratcliffe is an admirer of all the candidates and is ­keeping an open mind. The Ineos billionaire is also this week ­leading a ­season review after which Ten Hag will learn for sure if he is to be removed from his post. The 54‑year‑old’s position is in ­jeopardy after a dismal campaign in which United finished eighth, their lowest position of the Premier League era.


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