Manchester United: Erik ten Hag has held ‘very positive’ talks with Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Football Focus: How is Manchester United going to change

Erik ten Hag says he has held “very positive” meetings with Manchester United’s new investors Ineos.

Manager Erik Ten Hag met Sir Jim Ratcliffe at United’s training ground on Tuesday.

On his first visit since the agreement to buy 25% of the club was announced on Christmas Eve, Ten Hag said he spent “many hours” with Ratcliffe and Ineos representatives Sir Dave Brailsford and John-Claude Blanc.

The deal is set to be ratified by the Premier League in six to eight weeks.

“It was very positive,” Ten Hag said. “We had a long meeting, for many hours we sit together, on many issues we were on the same page. It was a very constructive meeting and we’re looking forward to working with each other.”

It is expected Ineos will make significant changes to the structure of United, although stock market regulations prevent that from happening at the moment.

Ten Hag says it is too soon for anyone to make decisions of such significance given Ratcliffe and his associates only arrived in the north west on Tuesday, spending time at Old Trafford on Tuesday and again on Thursday to get to know staff members and understand how the club functions.

“We have to let it settle down,” said Ten Hag. “They are just coming in and introducing themselves. They have good ideas, so we have to see what we can integrate. We will work together but you can’t tell that after one day. We have had our debates about strategies and I think we will come together.”

Onana available for Wigan

Ten Hag confirmed goalkeeper Andre Onana would be available for the FA Cup trip to Wigan on Monday evening.

However, he says talks are continuing with the Cameroon federation over Onana’s availability for the Premier League encounter against Tottenham at Old Trafford on 14 January.

Cameroon’s opening group game at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) against Guinea takes place just 24 hours later.

United are willing to provide a private plane to ensure Onana gets to the game in Yamoussoukro.

However, West Ham boss David Moyes has already questioned how he had to do without two players for Tuesday’s draw with Brighton due to Afcon commitments while other clubs were able to pick their African contingent for the same round of fixtures.

Ten Hag feels he is justified in taking his stance as when he signed the goalkeeper from Inter Milan, it was on the understanding that he would not be travelling to the Ivory Coast as he had retired from international duty, only to get talked into changing his mind before the September international break.

“It was an issue during the talks with Andre when he came in here,” said Ten Hag. “The talks are constructive and we will see.”

Sancho move edging closer

Jadon Sancho’s proposed return on loan to Borussia Dortmund is edging closer.

It is understood Dortmund are willing to pay around £3m to get Sancho back for the remainder of the season and want him signed quickly enough for him to join them on their current winter training camp in Marbella.

Sancho’s chances of a return under Ten Hag are non-existent after the England international refused to apologise for his explosive social media post accusing the Dutchman of picking on him and telling lies around the reason for his omission from the squad beaten at Arsenal at the beginning of September.

“I can’t say anything about that,” said Ten Hag. “We have to wait and see how things are going.”

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