Manchester United 'sound out' Roberto De Zerbi with Kieran McKenna 'set to sign new deal' at Ipswich

Roberto De Zerbi is in contention to get the Manchester United job (Getty Images)
Roberto De Zerbi is in contention to get the Manchester United job (Getty Images)

Manchester United have reportedly made contact with Roberto De Zerbi as they consider a managerial change, with it increasingly likely that Kieran McKenna will stay at Ipswich.

A decision has not yet been made on Erik ten Hag’s future at Old Trafford, ahead of an end-of-season review taking place this week to decide if winning the FA Cup is enough for the Dutchman to keep his job, after a campaign in which the club finished eighth in the Premier League.

Initial talks have been held with the representatives of a number of managers, in case United do look to make a change this summer, and McKenna was believed to be high on the club’s wishlist, after leading Ipswich into the top-flight with back-to-back promotions.

However, The Athletic report that McKenna, who was also previously in contention for the Chelsea job, is now expected to sign a new long-term contract with Ipswich, despite interest from United and Brighton.

McKenna was assistant to Jose Mourinho at United and then worked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, further strengthening suggestions that he could favour a return to Old Trafford, but that now appears to be off the cards and his former employers will have to look elsewhere if they do decide to replace Ten Hag.

Discussions are understood to have already taken place with Mauricio Pochettino, available after leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, and Brentford boss Thomas Frank, who was also strongly considered to replace Pochettino at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are expected to appoint Leicester manager Enzo Maresca.

According to the Daily Mail, De Zerbi has now been sounded out by United, after the Italian parted ways with Brighton. The 44-year-old received significant praise during his time in charge of the Seagulls, leading the club into Europe for the first time in their history and playing an attractive style of football.

It is suggested, however, that De Zerbi’s desire for control over recruitment could prove problematic, with United putting an extensive team in place off the pitch since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival at the club.

Pochettino and Frank still remain options, if Ten Hag is sacked, with Thomas Tuchel also a possibility. The German left Bayern Munich after a frustrating campaign, and is set to be replaced by Burnley’s Vincent Kompany in a surprise move.