Thomas Frank emerges as strong contender for Man United job if Ten Hag departs

Thomas Frank has emerged as a strong candidate for the Manchester United job if the club decide to part ways with Erik ten Hag this summer, according to the Telegraph. 

United are yet to make a decision on Ten Hag after what has been another underwhelming season at Old Trafford. After winning the Carabao Cup last season and finishing third in the league, United were expected to kick on this year but have drastically stagnated- crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage phase and currently sitting eight in the table. 

United still have the FA Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to, but there have clearly been no signs of progression under Ten Hag this season as doubts about the Dutchman’s future at the club continue to linger. 

Brentford boss Frank has impressed since gaining promotion with the Bees in 2021, registering some impressive results against the traditional ‘Big Six’ and earning a ninth place finish last season. 

Following INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority stake in United and his control over the football operations, the Telegraph have reported that Frank has been earmarked as the ideal candidate to overlook the rebuilding of United’s squad, should Ten Hag leave. 

Frank is thought to have an existing relationship with the co-owners of INEOS and has previously linked up with their director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford.  

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Whilst Frank is ‘manager’ at Brentford, United are looking for a ‘head coach’ to focus purely on the team, and Frank’s track record of developing players and creating a strong connection between the fans and the players makes him an ideal candidate for United.  

During Frank’s three years in the top-flight, Brentford have gained a reputation for being one of the most successful data-driven clubs in the country- signing lesser-known players for cheap fees and developing them into Premier League quality. Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoanne Wissa are standout examples. 

With incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth and technical director Jason Wilcox expected to be on board soon, Frank would have an organised structure behind him that would oversee other departments such as recruitment- support that Ten Hag has not been able to avail of. 

Ten Hag insisted last week that it would take a lack of a “common sense” from the United hierarchy to sack him, adding that he did not fear the same fate as Louis van Gaal who was sacked at United after winning the FA Cup. United have no intention of dismissing Ten Hag before the FA Cup final on May 25, but their season has been bitterly underwhelming and they could still finish in their lowest league position of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

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