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Manchester United have opened talks with Erik ten Hag over a new contract at Old Trafford after a post-season review concluded that the manager should remain on the sideline at Old Trafford. The Dutchman had 12 months remaining on his current deal, with United holding an option to extend by a further year, but had been facing a fight to see out even the initial terms he signed after arriving from Ajax in 2022.

Ten Hag had led Manchester United to their lowest league finish since 1990, eighth in the Premier League, but his side rallied on the final day of their season to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final, a second trophy in as many years for the club. This was followed by an internal review into the first team, concluded on Tuesday with both parties entering into contract talks over an extension, CBS Sports sources confirm.

United had considered numerous other potential managers for the vacancy, minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe holding talks with former Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel while, according to CBS Sports sources, England boss Gareth Southgate was a favored option if he chose to leave the international stage after the Euros. Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna was also considered while Brentford's Thomas Frank and ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino were linked.

Dialogue between Ten Hag and INEOS, who are leading the sporting overhaul at Old Trafford, extended beyond the manager's own future and into a broader review that focused on, among other factors: United's chequered recent injury history, recruitment failings and the sporting structure surrounding their head coach. Many of those are in the process of being addressed with Jason Wilcox arriving as technical director. Jordan Reece has also been brought in as head physio, joining a medical department that is being revamped under his former Arsenal colleague, head of medical services Gary O'Driscoll.

There was significant sympathy for the difficulties Ten Hag had with injuries last season, on several occasions the campaign he was without a natural left back with Tyrell Malacia and Luke Shaw sidelined through injury. Mason Mount, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Casemiro were among those to also miss significant time in the campaign.

Equally the turbulence that engulfed United during a protracted takeover process -- only formally concluded in February with the Glazer family selling a minority stake to Ratcliffe -- was considered in reviewing Ten Hag's performance. In his first season the 54 year old had finished third in the Premier League, winning the EFL Cup, reaching the FA Cup Final and qualifying for the Champions League.

An altogether more challenging second year had concluded with Ten Hag managing amid speculation that the FA Cup Final might be his last game. Indeed he himself acknowledged after beating Manchester City that he was in the dark over whether he might take the helm at another United game. "Two trophies in two years is not bad, three finals in two years is not bad," he said. "If they don't want me, then I go somewhere else to win trophies because that is what I do."

United concluded that they did in fact want Ten Hag, who will now operate with a de facto endorsement from Ratcliffe that had not come since INEOS arrived at Old Trafford. Whether he will be a success when and if the mitigating factors are addressed remains to be seen. Across two seasons of Premier League football United only have the seventh best goal difference in the league -- 14 -- and sit ninth when the top flight is ranked by expected goal difference, significantly trailing Brentford, Chelsea and and Brighton, among others.

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