‘Straight fight’ between two managers for Old Trafford job

Manchester United’s search for a new manager is heating up, with Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino set to be in a ‘straight fight’ to replace Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford dugout, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Red Devils are currently under Rangnick’s guidance, with the German taking over as the club’s interim boss last November, but he is due to move into a consultancy role at the end of the campaign.

What’s the latest news involving the managerial search?

According to Sky Sports, the Manchester United hierarchy have pieced together a four-man shortlist of candidates to move into the hot seat.

The report suggests Ajax chief ten Hag, Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino, Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique – who is in charge of the Spain international side – are in the running to be unveiled as Rangnick’s long-term successor.

Ten Hag is reportedly in pole position to secure the job after Manchester United’s key decision-makers underwent exhaustive background checks on each of their possible targets.

The Red Devils are understood to have held ‘positive’ talks with the 52-year-old Dutchman, with the hierarchy thought to be impressed by his vision and philosophy.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed that Manchester United will have to convince Pochettino he is their number one choice in order for him to consider heading back to English shores.

Erik ten Hag CLOSE to getting Man United job! Hear more on The Football Terrace…

What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?

Although Lopetegui and Enrique are understood to be on Manchester United’s shortlist of options, O’Rourke is adamant that they will not be in the Old Trafford dugout at the start of next season.

The journalist feels ten Hag and Pochettino are the only candidates still in with a shout of replacing Rangnick.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “I’m sure they’ll be doing their due process of speaking to all the candidates who are on that list at Manchester United.

“But it does seem to be a straight fight between Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino, I think, for this job.”

How do ten Hag and Pochettino’s managerial records compare?

Ten Hag has enjoyed a hugely successful spell in charge of Dutch giants Ajax, with him guiding the club to five trophies.

Over the course of his managerial career, ten Hag has enjoyed 277 triumphs in 429 fixtures, giving him a win rate of 64.5 per cent.

Pochettino has got his hands on less pieces of silverware, with him only clinching the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions during his PSG reign.

The Argentinian’s sides have emerged victorious in 49 per cent of his matches at the helm, with him triumphing on 286 occasions out of 589 matches.

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