Man Utd hold Thomas Frank and Mauricio Pochettino talks as Ten Hag sweats on review result

Mauricio Pochettino walks off the Stamford Bridge pitch
Mauricio Pochettino is on Manchester United's four-man shortlist - Getty Images/Darren Walsh

Manchester United have held discussions with the representatives of Thomas Frank and Mauricio Pochettino as they continue to explore their options ahead of a final decision on the future of Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag – who went on holiday on Sunday – is at serious risk of being sacked despite leading United to a second trophy in as many seasons with Saturday’s FA Cup triumph over Manchester City at Wembley.

United’s key decision-makers will conduct a thorough season review this week at which Ten Hag’s fate will be determined.

Old Trafford officials held talks in the last week with representatives of Kieran McKenna, who was previously United’s first-team coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and has just guided Ipswich Town to the Premier League after back-to-back promotions.

Telegraph Sport understands that United have since met with people from the Frank and Pochettino camps as the club weighs up its next move.

Frank, the 50-year-old Dane, has done an impressive job on a tight budget over the past six years as Brentford manager.

Thomas Frank applauds the Brentford fans
Thomas Frank has done an impressive job at Brentford - PA/John Walton

Former Spurs and Paris St-Germain manager Pochettino, who left Chelsea by mutual consent last Tuesday, had been in the running for the Old Trafford post two years ago when Ten Hag got the job.

Chelsea are also admirers of McKenna and Frank, with both men on the west London club’s four-man shortlist as they look for a replacement for Pochettino.

Kieran McKenna celebrates with the Ipswich fans
Kieran McKenna has led Ipswich to back-to-back promotions - PA/Zac Goodwin

McKenna, who additionally has strong interest from Brighton as they look for a replacement for Roberto De Zerbi, is thought to be sitting tight and waiting to see what unfolds at United before deciding his next move. Landing the top job at United or Chelsea would represent a remarkable career ascent for the 38-year-old Northern Irishman.

United have previously sounded out representatives of Thomas Tuchel, who is leaving Bayern Munich and has the most impressive track record of all the candidates. But there are thought to be some reservations within Old Trafford about whether the former Chelsea manager is the right fit for them at this moment.

Frank, Pochettino and England manager Gareth Southgate – another candidate – were all among the guests at Sir Dave Brailsford’s star-studded 60th birthday party earlier this year.

Brailsford is Ineos’ director of sport and an influential figure behind the scenes at Old Trafford since Sir Jim Ratcliffe took a minority stake in the club and, with it, control of football operations.

Sir Dave Brailsford watches Manchester United win the FA Cup final
Sir Dave Brailsford (left) is a key member of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's inner circle - Getty Images/Eddie Keogh

Southgate, who is committed to managing England at the Euros this summer and does not want anything to distract from the tournament in Germany, would not be available until mid-to-late July.

Ten Hag cut a defiant figure in the wake of United’s impressive 2-1 win over City and warned the club that he will “go somewhere else to win trophies” if they opt to sack him. United chiefs will convene this week to closely analyse the season and determine if they feel a change of manager is necessary.

Ten Hag said on Saturday he “didn’t know” if he would be kept on but insisted he remained the right man for the role. United’s Cup win came with the added benefit of securing Europa League qualification after the club had been at risk of having no European football at Old Trafford next season following their eighth-placed finish in the Premier League. The situation will give United a little more wriggle room financially, although there is still going to be a huge onus on the need to sell well to raise funds to reinvest with the pursestrings tight owing to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules after a £555 million spend in the previous three years.

United are prioritising the recruitment of a centre-back, defensive midfielder and striker this summer. Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial will leave as free agents but United are hoping to find buyers for a number of players, including Brazil midfielder Casemiro, and are prepared to listen to offers for the majority of their squad bar young talents such as Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund.

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