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Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United to follow Arsenal‘s lead by backing manager Mikel Arteta and ‘trust the process’ when they hire their new boss as Erik ten Hag closes in on a move to Old Trafford.
As Sportsmail reported on Wednesday night, the Red Devils are closing in on a deal to make the Ajax boss their new manager.
Talks have been held with the Dutch club to establish the terms for Ten Hag’s release as United take a significant step towards appointing the 52-year-old as the long-term replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rio Ferdinand has urged Manchester United to follow Arsenal’s lead in backing Mikel Arteta
Arteta has frozen out big names, brought in new faces and overhauled his squad at Arsenal
The Red Devils are closing in on a deal to make Ajax’s Erik ten Hag their new manager
Those discussions took place at the end of last week and indicate that United are now ready to press ahead with bringing in Ten Hag, whose Ajax contract expires at the end of next season.
But Ferdinand, believed to be speaking before Ten Hag moved to the brink of joining United, has urged his former club to throw their unwavering support behind their new manager in their pursuit of a return to the big time.
Arteta has overhauled his Arsenal squad and been ruthless in casting big names like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang aside, despite criticism from fans, to help create a youthful, exciting team that is challenging for Champions League football again.
Speaking to William Hill, Ferdinand said: ‘Manchester United are obviously now looking for a new manager, and hopefully things will change.
‘If you look at Arsenal, they have found the manager, they trust in him and they have allowed him to do some things where a lot of people have probably doubted it.
‘With the Aubameyang situation, where people thought he’s a big player and you have to keep him… But now Arteta has done what he wanted and Arsenal are on a good run at the moment.
‘You have to trust in the manager and trust in the process and fingers crossed Man United will do that. At the end of the day, when you are a professional you have to apply yourself right every single day and the culture, with the environment that you are in, has to be structured and put together for you to be the best you can be as an individual, but in our sport, as a collective as well. Up until over the last few years Man United has not been set up like that.’
Ferdinand said United CEO Richard Arnold (above) and football director John Murtough must give the new boss time
United are currently seventh in the Premier League and three points behind top-four rivals Tottenham and Arsenal – with a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates still to come.
Ferdinand added: ‘You can’t lie, (they are just not good enough at the moment). You can’t try and sugar-coat it and dress it up as something that it isn’t.
‘The league table doesn’t lie. The league table tells you where you’re at and Man United aren’t good enough at the moment, aren’t playing well enough, aren’t consistent enough. That is just a fact.’
Ten Hag reportedly gave United a list of potential transfer targets – including a number of his Ajax stars – should he get the role when he was interviewed by them last month.
The Telegraph claim Ten Hag will get a war chest to use in the transfer market this summer – even if United miss out on Champions League football next season.
The Old Trafford hierarchy will make funds available from the sales of fringe players and the release of wages committed to players who are out of contract this summer.
United are sat seventh in the Premier League and three points behind their top-four rivals
Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani are among those expected to depart Old Trafford and that would free up significant funds that will be reinvested into the playing squad.
Among the top targets are Kane and Rice – two of England’s leading lights and Premier League stars who play in positions that United are in desperate need of improvement in.
Kane was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City last summer but Spurs managed to resist their interest and kept hold of him. Whether he wants to leave now Antonio Conte is at the club remains to be seen, plus Daniel Levy is thought to have slapped a £100m price tag on his star man.
A move for Rice is more likely, given the West Ham midfielder’s desire to play Champions League football.
Rice has been linked with a return to youth team Chelsea, although it is unclear what funds Thomas Tuchel will have to spend when the successor to Roman Abramovich eventually takes over.
If moves for Kane and Rice don’t work out then Aston Villa’s Scottish midfielder John McGinn is another midfield option for the Red Devils.
Source: DailyMail Sports