Premier League English

Spunky Erik Ten Hag recalcitrant on new demand to Man Utd bosses after getting stay of execution

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS top brass have decided that Erik ten Hag will be staying on at Manchester United – which has resulted in the Dutchman paying his luck and demanding a say on important matters as an equal partner in the club’s new management structure.

The recalcitrant Dutchman has obviously rebounded with renewed confidence after the Red Devils’ surprise victory over bitter crosstown rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final and has given assurances to Sir Jim Ratcliffe that he can work with the club’s new chief executive and technical director – but only as equal partners.

Ten Hag has insisted to Ratcliffe and his INEOS Group that he must be allowed to help shape the club’s playing style and transfer policy alongside Omar Berrada and Jason Wilcox.

Obviously unimpressed upon hearing that United had spoken to several potential successors in the weeks since he had guided the Reds to their shock FA Cup final triumph over the Sky Blues, the buoyant Dutchman made it clear that he is not prepared to relinquish control when it comes to identifying potential transfer targets and making decisions on how his team will play, after being told by Ratcliffe he would remain as manager during a face-to-face meeting in Ibiza.

Ten Hag then then proceeded to elaborate to the billionaire how he had cultivated an immensely successful working relationship with both Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar at Ajax that was based on mutual respect and trust. He insisted that he can build similar relationships with Berrada and Wilcox – but only if they treat him as an equal.

Ten Hag said he was briefed on every aspect of the club’s transfer policy and was given substantial input into decisions. When he was negotiating with United about taking over at Old Trafford two years ago, he insisted that a clause giving him the final decision on transfers was included in his contract.

Ten Hag recently spoke on Dutch TV about how his relationship with Overmars worked. He said: “Overmars was the one who set out the strategy and vision of Ajax. He was bright, he had cleverness, strategic insight and he knew so much about football at top level.

“He never wrote anything down, not even two lines on a piece of paper. But he made his vision very clear and everything was in place. When he was forced to leave, everything fell to pieces and there was anarchy in the entire organization. For me it is very clear that if you have a guy like that he can be the bonding factor from the top management of a club to the football side of a club.”

Despite being told he would be offered a contract extension, Ten Hag is insistent he will not accept any attempt to take out the clause that gives him a say in transfer dealings. He fully attributed all blame for United’s disappointing eighth-placed Premier League finish last season to a crippling injury list that stripped him of key players.

However, never short of self confidence as always, he has told INEOS that if they can deliver three top-class signings to address weaknesses in defense, midfield and at centre-forward this summer, the team will have what it takes to challenge for the top four.