Manchester United already reportedly has a list of managerial contenders should they fire Erik ten Hag. Despite getting off to a solid start in his first season at the helm, the Dutch boss is currently in the hot seat. Ten Hag has been under constant pressure throughout the current campaign as the team continues to struggle.

The Times is now reporting that United has identified two coaches to potentially succeed ten Hag. Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim may be the leading candidate for the job. There are, however, complications regarding the Portuguese coach.

For starters, Amorim is employed by Sporting. United would have to pay a release clause to nab the coach. This fee will be in the region of $10.7 million. Amorim, 38, is one of the top young coaches in all of Europe.

The former midfielder had heavy links with a switch to Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the year. Nevertheless, the manager did not want to depart Sporting midseason and then chose not to join the Premier League side in the summer. Spurs instead opted to hire Ange Postecoglou, a move that has panned out well so far.

Sporting coach keeping future plans to himself

Amorim was asked about the United job on Thursday following his team’s 4-2 win against Farense. Although he claimed to not want to discuss the matter, the coach also hinted that he has plans set up following the conclusion of the current campaign.

Ruben Amorim won the Primeira Liga Manager of the Season in 2021 when Sporting won the league title.
Ruben Amorim won the Primeira Liga Manager of the Season in 2021 when Sporting won the league title.

Ruben Amorim won the Primeira Liga Manager of the Season in 2021 when Sporting won the league title.

“This year I’m not going to go back to the same conversation as last year,” Amorim told reporters. “I’m not going to make any kind of comment on these situations. We don’t know the future, it depends on the results.”

“Regarding the future, I have an idea for the end of the season, but I won’t say it now. But the results and the context take us to something different. I don’t want to be commenting on these things. I have not been contacted by Manchester United.”

United naming other candidates for manager job

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is also a possible candidate at United as well. The former France star has been on sabbatical ever since departing the Spanish giants back in 2021. His availability could very well be a deciding factor for the Red Devils.

Zidane was immensely successful in two separate stints with Los Blancos. The Frenchman collected three consecutive Champions League titles and two LaLiga triumphs in just four-and-a-half years with the club.

There are, however, further complications regarding ten Hag’s future at United. The club will reportedly have to pay the Dutchman around $18 million if they were to sack him at some point this season. Ownership uncertainty also adds obstacles to any serious decision as well. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is entering the fray by becoming a minority investor in the club. Yet, this move has not reached its final stages.

Nevertheless, United brass will have to make a move if the club continues to lose matches. Amorim would bring an exciting style of soccer to the team. Sporting currently scores plenty of goals in Portugal and has yet to lose a league match this season. However, like most managers, Amorim would need time to bring the correct players into the team.