Erik ten Hag will receive reassurances he is part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s plans for Manchester United if the the British billionaire reaches a deal to run the sporting side of the club, a source has told ESPN.
Ratcliffe, the founder of chemicals company INEOS, is hopeful of obtaining a 25% stake in exchange for investment worth around £1.3 billion ($1.58bn).
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He’s keen to have influence over football operations but, according to a source, any proposed changes would not include replacing Ten Hag.
The Dutchman led United to a third-place finish in the Premier League and won the Carabao Cup in his first season in charge.
Despite a poor start to the current campaign during which United have lost six out of their 11 games in all competitions, INEOS’ preference is to keep Ten Hag as manager.
United are set to hold a board meeting on Thursday when an agreement with Ratcliffe and INEOS could be finalised.
Ratcliffe, according to a source, is conscious that his offer to buy a minority stake could prove unpopular with fans because it would keep owners, the Glazer family, at the club.
He’s hopeful that by acquiring 25% of the club, it will open the door to a full takeover further down the line but, at least in the short-term, the Glazers will keep their majority.
Supporters were desperate to see the Glazers’ 18-year ownership end when it was announced in November the American family could sell, but on Saturday it was revealed that the one offer for 100% control of the club from Sheikh Jassim had been withdrawn.
The Qatari businessman pulled out of the process last week citing the Glazers’ “fanciful” valuation as the key reason.
Sheikh Jassim’s final offer was worth around £5bn, around £1bn short of the Glazers’ asking price. If Ratcliffe is successful, he is expected to announce ambitious plans for United’s future in a bid to calm any supporter unrest. Proposals are likely to include a plan to redevelop Old Trafford which could see the capacity increased from 76,000 to 90,000.