Erik ten Hag may convince three Manchester United players to stay as board theory emerges

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Manchester United have reportedly made Erik ten Hag their No 1 choice to take over at Old Trafford come the summer. The Ajax boss has spent the last five years working in Amsterdam, helping the Eredivisie outfit re-establish themselves among Europe’s elite. And a summer move to the Premier League appears to be on the cards.

United have been linked with a host of managers as they plan for a brighter future, having endured a difficult campaign under both Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far.

For a while, it appeared as though the Red Devils would pursue Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino – with interest in the Argentine dating back to his time at Southampton.

United have also been linked with Thomas Tuchel amid the chaos currently engulfing Chelsea, who may still go bust following the government’s decision to place sanctions on controversial owner Roman Abramovich.

And Roberto Mancini and Luis Enrique have also been tipped to be of interest, despite the pair currently working with the Italy and Spain national teams respectively.

On Tuesday, The Sun have claimed United are now ready to choose Ten Hag as their new boss having done their research on the 52-year-old and his suitability to the role.

And it’s also claimed they believe the appointment of the current Ajax boss can convince some of their players who currently want out to stay put instead.

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So, with that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at who the board may have in mind.

One player they won’t want to lose, despite his issues on the field this season, is Marcus Rashford.

The England international had shoulder surgery in the summer and hasn’t appeared the same player since, with his confidence shot.

Rashford has attracted interest from Barcelona in the past, with the La Liga giants currently having a reported ‘agreement’ with the player’s entourage in the past.

Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked, especially with Kylian Mbappe looking increasingly likely to leave the club on a free transfer to join Real Madrid.

Yet Ten Hag has got the best from wingers Antony and Dusan Tadic during his time in Amsterdam, something that bodes well for the future.

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Rashford, under the right manager, has the potential to become one of the best forwards on the planet.

And Ten Hag could be the boss to revive the 24-year-old’s career, with Rashford previously blowing hot and cold under Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer.

Paul Pogba is yet to sign a new contract at United and all signs currently point to the France international departing for nothing come the summer.

His second stint at Old Trafford hasn’t lived up to expectations and there is a genuine sense a parting of the ways would suit all parties involved.

Yet Pogba, like Rashford, has the potential to be special under the right boss.

Ten Hag, at Ajax, plays a possession-based game with an emphasis on pressing.

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If United can get Pogba more involved in matches, like he was under Solskjaer during the early embers of the season, then he’s certainly worth keeping.

And with Real and Barcelona having other targets in mind, and Juventus’ financial situation unclear, Pogba may find himself with a lack of suitors come the end of his contract.

A third player who may be convinced into staying is Dean Henderson.

David De Gea has been spectacular between the sticks this season, with the Spain international back to his brilliant best after a few years of inconsistency.

Yet Henderson, at the age of 25, wants to play regularly.

Ten Hag has been bold with his goalkeepers in the past, not hesitating to play Andre Onana after his suspension despite Ajax doing well without him.

And with Henderson originally intended to be United’s future, Ten Hag may decide to give him the action he craves.

While 25 isn’t overly young for a footballer, it remains so for a goalkeeper.

And with Ten Hag regularly trusting youth throughout his time in the Netherlands, it’s possible he’ll choose to bring that policy with him to Old Trafford.

That is, should he end up beating Pochettino, Tuchel and Enrique to the post.

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