Gary Neville explains why Man United were RIGHT not to sack Erik ten Hag, but admits club were 'within their rights' to look for upgrade and 'flirt' with other managers after woeful Premier League campaign

Manchester United's owners recently considered sacking manager Erik ten HagBut the club decided to keep the Dutchman after interviewing Thomas Tuchel LISTEN to It's All Kicking Off! Why Jude Bellingham can't get too emotional 

Gary Neville believes that Manchester United were 'well within their rights' to shop the managerial market before deciding to keep Erik ten Hag in the Old Trafford dugout.

The Dutchman survived the protracted season review conducted by the club's part-owners, INEOS, headed up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

A number of managers were linked with his job, including Roberto De Zerbi, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, who met with the United minority owner in Monaco earlier this month.

The 54-year-old was told he would keep his job 17 days after beating Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup final. United finished eighth in the Premier League - their lowest final position since 1990.

As a result, Neville reckons his old club had every right to assess the managerial market but he believes Ten Hag must also accept the Red Devils' campaign left him vulnerable of getting the sack.

Gary Neville believes that Man United were justified in assessing the managerial market this summer

Gary Neville believes that Man United were justified in assessing the managerial market this summer

United's FA Cup final win over Man City was big factor in the Dutchman keeping his job
Tuchel held talks with Sir Jim Ratcliffe in Monaco earlier this month

The club decided to stick with Erik ten Hag (left) despite speaking to other candidates including former Chelsea and Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel (right)

Ten Hag survived the protracted season review conducted by the club's part-owners, INEOS, headed up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe (right)

Ten Hag survived the protracted season review conducted by the club's part-owners, INEOS, headed up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe (right)

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'It's not perfect waiting two-and-a-half weeks after the end of the season to make a decision on the manager. He told Sky Sports. 'And quite obviously flirting with other managers in the meantime.

'But I do believe that because Erik ten Hag had such a disappointing season in the Premier League the club were well within their rights to see what was out there in the market.

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'As we all know, the manager market has been quite difficult for a number of top clubs in Europe. I'm happy because they've continued and maintained that stability into next season.

'I think they've come to the right conclusion in the end but I also think they were within their rights to review at the end of the season and look at other options.

'From Ten Hag's point of view, he knows that they've had a look at other managers which isn't ideal. But he's got to accept that when you finish in the league position Man United did, there's a chance you might lose your job.'

Ten Hag revealed that he is aware that the club held talks with alternative candidates, including former Chelsea and Bayern Munich boss Tuchel.

He was on holiday on the Spanish island of Ibiza when he learned that he would be staying on at Old Trafford. He then flew to mainland Europe to watch Euro 2024 in Germany and was interviewed by Dutch TV channel NOS over the weekend.

Speaking to NOS, Ten Hag revealed: 'The club management came to me while I was on holiday in Ibiza. They suddenly showed up on my doorstep and told me they wanted to continue with me.'

Ten Hag (centre) discovered that he was keeping his job while he was on holiday in Ibiza

Ten Hag (centre) discovered that he was keeping his job while he was on holiday in Ibiza

'As in any organisation, it is wise to evaluate. Manchester United did that too. The new owner is new to football, he has taken his time.

'They spoke with Thomas Tuchel, but came to the conclusion they already have the best manager.'

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Ten Hag has 12 months left on his deal at Old Trafford but is in talks over a reported two-year extension.

There has been plenty of change at the club since the arrival of Ratcliffe and Ineos. The Red Devils have replaced individuals in key executive positions as they look to close the gap on their rivals.

Neville believes that the decision to keep Ten Hag will be vital in proving stability during a period of rapid change.

'The biggest thing for me is when you look at the fact that Man United have changed owners, CEO, sporting director, technical director and CFO  - the five or six major positions in a football club.' He added. 'To actually have some stability on the football side for another 12 months is a sensible thing.

'To allow those people to build the foundations underneath the football side, whilst having to settle a new manager in would have been more difficult.

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[video_shortcode_video_html_5 src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/05/25/6025275152777458407/1024x576_MP4_6025275152777458407.mp4" itemprop="image" content="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/05/25/6025275152777458407/1024x576_MP4_6025275152777458407.mp4" data-src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/05/25/6025275152777458407/1024x576_MP4_6025275152777458407.mp4"]

'Any new manager coming in would say "I want to look at the playing squad, transfer windows, transfer budget - which Man United don't quite have at this moment in time because of FFP.

'It's the sensible thing for the club and I think the sensible and right thing for Erik ten Hag to stay.'

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