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Manchester United 'contact 38-year-old manager amid Erik ten Hag uncertainty'

Man Utd 'contact 38-year-old manager amid Ten Hag uncertainty'
© Reuters
Manchester United allegedly contact Kieran McKenna's representatives to discuss the possibility of the Ipswich Town head coach returning to Old Trafford as first-team manager.

Manchester United have allegedly been in touch with Kieran McKenna's representatives to discuss the possibility of the Ipswich Town head coach replacing Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag's future at Man United remains the subject of much speculation, with the club considering making a change in the dug-out at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

The Dutchman is set to remain in charge for the FA Cup final against Manchester City on May 25, but he could potentially be dismissed soon after, with Man United's new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe weighing up bringing in a replacement this summer.

Thomas Tuchel, who is set to leave Bayern Munich this summer, is seen as the favourite for the position.

Meanwhile, England head coach Gareth Southgate, former Chelsea manager Graham Potter and Brentford boss Thomas Frank are also being linked with moves to Old Trafford.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna on April 30, 2024© Reuters

Man United 'view McKenna as potential Ten Hag replacement'

According to The Guardian, McKenna is also firmly in the frame for the role, with the 38-year-old's work at Ipswich drawing a host of attention.

The report claims that senior figures at Man United are huge admirers of McKenna, who was previously a coach at Old Trafford for six years before taking charge of Ipswich in late 2021.

The 20-time English champions have allegedly already been in touch with the Englishman's representatives to discuss the possibility of a return to the Red Devils as their first-team manager.

McKenna has a contract at Ipswich until June 2027, but there is also thought to be Premier League interest from Brighton & Hove Albion, and Ipswich, despite their promotion to England's top flight, could find it difficult to keep him.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna before the match on February 14, 2024© Reuters

Would McKenna be for the right fit for Man United?

The Englishman came through the youth system at Tottenham Hotspur, but he was forced to retire from football at the age of 22 due to an ongoing hip problem.

McKenna coached Tottenham's Under-18s between 2015 and 2016 before his move to Man United, initially managing their Under-18s, before being promoted to first-team coach ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

The former midfielder left Old Trafford in December 2021 to take charge of Ipswich, and he has managed to secure back-to-back promotions, with the Blues now preparing for Premier League football.

McKenna was highly-rated during his coaching career at Man United, and his work with Ipswich has been incredibly impressive.

It would be a risk to hand him the first-team role at Old Trafford, but if Ratcliffe is looking for a long-term option to replace Ten Hag, then McKenna could be the perfect fit, with the ex-Tottenham youngster undoubtedly currently one of the most exciting young managers in English football.

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Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe on March 17, 2023
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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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