Man Utd target former coach to replace Erik ten Hag - reports

  • Man Utd scouring potential replacements for Erik ten Hag
  • Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna emerging as option
  • McKenna previously served as assistant to Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
McKenna could return to Old Trafford
McKenna could return to Old Trafford / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Manchester United are targeting Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna as a potential successor to Erik ten Hag, according to multiple reports.

Ten Hag's future at Old Trafford remains uncertain after overseeing a dismal 2023/24 season, which could yet yield the Red Devils' worst-ever Premier League finish if they end the campaign poorly.

The likes of Bayern Munich's Thomas Tuchel and Brentford's Thomas Frank have been linked with the United job in case the club do part ways with Ten Hag, and now a new candidate has emerged.

Foot Mercato were first to report that United have held talks with the agent of McKenna recently, while the Guardian have confirmed that he is indeed a target, though they are not the only Premier League club with an interest and he could decide to remain at Ipswich.

McKenna served as a scout and Under-18s manager at United from 2016 to 2018 before becoming an assistant to Jose Mourinho during the final months of his tenure at Old Trafford. He then played an integral role on the coaching staff when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became manager, working closely with fellow assistant and current Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick. Both McKenna and Carrick left United a few weeks after Solskjaer was sacked and replaced on an interim basis by Ralf Rangnick.

Kieran McKenna
McKenna has worked miracles with Ipswich / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Days after leaving United in December 2021, McKenna was appointed as the new manager of Ipswich, who at the time were struggling in League One. After steadying the ship during his first half-season, McKenna led the Tractor Boys to promotion during the 2022/23 campaign.

Ipswich were expected to battle relegation from the Championship this term, but pulled off one of the greatest promotion stories in the history of England's second tier, finishing as runners-up to Leicester City and tallying 96 points, pipping Leeds United to the final automatic promotion spot on the final day of the season.