Erik ten Hag has found himself under immense scrutiny as the manager of Manchester United due to the team’s lackluster start to the season.
Gary Neville’s desire to see Diego Simeone take charge at Old Trafford seems unlikely to come to fruition. The passionate Argentine coach is reportedly on the verge of extending his long-standing contract with Atletico Madrid, where he has been at the helm for 12 years.
Erik ten Hag’s position has become increasingly precarious this season, with Manchester United enduring a series of disappointing defeats despite significant investments in the summer transfer market. Rumors are swirling that the former Ajax boss is losing the confidence of his players, raising questions about a possible managerial change.
Ten Hag’s blushes were spared over the weekend when Bruno Fernandes scored a late winner against Fulham, securing a crucial 1-0 victory. However, the performance did not justify the three points, with players still appearing unconvincing in possession and low on confidence.
With Sir Jim Ratcliffe poised to acquire a 25 percent stake in the club and influence its direction, Ten Hag will need to ensure he isn’t the first high-profile casualty of the season. Several replacement options have been discussed, with Neville expressing his preference for Simeone to manage his former club.
However, that possibility may now be off the table. According to reports from Marca, the 53-year-old Simeone has inked a contract extension with Atletico Madrid, and an official announcement is imminent.
The new contract is expected to keep Simeone at the Estadio Metropolitano until 2027, and his strong connection with the club will make it extremely challenging to lure him away in the future.
This means Neville’s wish may go unfulfilled. The former right-back had previously advocated for Simeone taking the reins at Manchester United, even before Ten Hag’s appointment.
Neville expressed, “Diego Simeone should be a candidate, but it’s never been feasible to lure him away from Atletico Madrid. He’s deeply committed there, tied to the club. But it would be fantastic to see him in the Premier League.
I’ve experienced it many times – I was defeated 2-0 in Valencia by his outstanding Atletico Madrid team that including Griezmann before he moved to Barcelona. He’s a fantastic coach, incredibly intense in his approach to the game, in every sense. He’s a tough character, and Manchester United needs a tough manager.
They need a manager who can compete with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, the best in the business. So, they require someone who can stand on that touchline and be their equal, and I believe Simeone could be that.”