Exclusive: Ratcliffe plans to sack Ten Hag and appoint De Zerbi as Man United manager
Sir Jim Ratcliffe plans to sack Man United manager Erik ten Hag and replace him with Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, sources have told Football Insider.
Ratcliffe and his company INEOS are expected to run football operations at Old Trafford when a deal to purchase 25 per cent of the club is completed – with that agreement possibly the first step in a phased takeover.
It is believed the decision has been provisionally made to dismiss Ten Hag, regardless of forthcoming results – including the Saturday lunchtime (4 November) kick-off away at Fulham.
Ratcliffe and INEOS chiefs want Brighton boss De Zerbi, 44, to take over as the new manager.
Any replacement for Ten Hag will be charged with completely overhauling the club’s playing style after a dreadful start to the 2023-24 campaign.
The Dutchman, 53, enjoyed a promising first season at Man United and won the League Cup but is now under immense pressure from fans.
United sources were quoted on Thursday (2 November) as describing media reports which suggested high-ranking officials are exploring managerial alternatives as “categorically false”.
But while the current hierarchy are indeed willing to keep Ten Hag in place, Ratcliffe and INEOS have plans of their own – which also include a complete overhaul of the coaching set-up at Old Trafford.
Football Insider revealed on 1 November that it will cost Man United over £15million if they choose to sack the ex-Ajax man this season.
Man United sit eighth in the Premier League having won five and lost five in their opening 10 league games.
The Red Devils’ Champions League hopes remain alive after beating FC Copenhagen 1-0 at Old Trafford on 24 October.
Meanwhile, De Zerbi has taken Brighton to new heights since his appointment in September 2022.
He led them to a first-ever Europa League qualification last season – and the Seagulls sit seventh in the Premier League this term.