Gary Neville hints at ruthless Erik ten Hag sack decision already made by Manchester United

Gary Neville hints at ruthless Erik ten Hag sack decision already made by Manchester United

Erik ten Hag’s fate as Manchester United manager could already be sealed, according to Gary Neville.

The former Red Devils full-back expects new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to learn from the club’s past mistakes and make a quick, ruthless decision on whether or not to keep Ten Hag for next season.

The Dutch coach, under contract to 2025, has struggled to rally United for a charge at the top four, with ten league defeats to their name already this season having also been knocked out of Europe early.

Ratcliffe has already begun overhauling the club behind the scenes, bringing in Omar Berrada from Manchester City and long-term INEOS ally Sir Dave Brailsford, along with a play to hire Newcastle director Dan Ashworth.

“If you look at the CEO coming in from City and they’re looking to get Dan Ashworth in from Newcastle, they’re going to make a decision quite quickly I think - if not already,” Neville told Monday Night Football.

“I suspect that Jim Ratcliffe and Dave Brailsford already know whether they’re going to keep Erik ten Hag as manager next season.

“I can’t believe they’re going to wait until May to make that decision and leave themselves short.

“Where Manchester United have been found out in the last ten years, in recruitment on and off the pitch, is making important decisions too late and not being ahead of the game. I don’t think [Ratcliffe and Co] are going to do that.

“So for me I suspect that they’ve probably come to a conclusion already - it may even be, whether it’s Champions League or not, that they stick with that decision.”

Neville is not the only United pundit to cast doubt on Ten Hag’s future, although fellow club legend Rio Ferdinand believes that the Dutchman’s fate is yet to be decided.

“It depends how [he finishes the season],” the ex-defender told his Vibe with Five show.

“[He could stay] if he runs [the top four] close and they see an upturn in form and an upturn in the environment at the training ground - if they can see something where it's like, 'Okay we can see what it looks like going into next season maybe, if we add the right pieces to it as well'.

“Given the structure behind him now it could [change]. A lot of moving parts have to fall into place for him to stay.

“But if they don't finish the season well and they're losing games and it looks like the dressing room isn’t a harmonious place…

“And one thing I would say is, I don't think Jim Ratcliffe and his team are shy of making big decisions.”