Surprise Replacement for Ten Hag Lined Up as Next Manchester United Manager

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Manchester United are ready to appoint Julen Lopetegui as their replacement for Erik ten Hag, according to a report from Spain.

Ten Hag finds himself on the brink at Man Utd, with the club lying seventh in the Premier League table, having lost six of their opening 14 games of the season.

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Ahead of a Wednesday fixture against Chelsea, the Dutchman is under fire, and though he has received support from Antony, his future is distinctly uncertain as Sir Jim Ratcliffe prepares to complete a 25% minority takeover that will see him seize command of the sporting structure of the club.

Lopetegui is, according to AS, the man anointed to take command of Man Utd once Ten Hag has vacated the dugout.

The Spanish daily reports that Lopetegui turned down the opportunity to take command of Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad on a contract worth €18 million per season.

It claims that he has recently been contacted by United over the role.

Julen Lopetegui with the Europa League at Sevilla
– Julen Lopetegui with the Europa League at Sevilla

Lopetegui is a highly experienced manager, who was previously Spain and, briefly, Real Madrid boss.

Crucially, he has experience of managing in the Premier League, having taken command of Wolves during the 2022/23 season. He led the West Midlands club to 13th in the standings but departed on the eve of the new campaign amid speculation over the club’s financial situation.

Lopetegui a natural Ten Hag replacement

Questions have been raised over which way United might turn if they were to sack Ten Hag, and Lopetegui would provide something of a logical answer given his experience with major clubs previously.

His most successful spell came with Sevilla from 2019-2022, during which he won the Europa League and posted a win percentage of 53%.

Julen Lopetegui managerial history since 2014

Role Dates Win %
Porto Jul 14 – Jan 16 68
Spain Jul 16 – Jun 18 70
Real Madrid Jun 18 – Oct 18 43
Sevilla Jun 19 – Oct 22 53
Wolves Nov 22 – Aug 23 37

Indeed, his record at Porto, Spain and Wolves was also impressive, with that 12-game burst at Real Madrid rather tarnishing what has been a promising managerial career to date.

The only major mark against Lopetegui is that for all his victories, he lacks silverware, which is a demand that Man Utd would make of him.

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