Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag staying ‘focused’ on priorities amid takeover talk

Erik ten Hag has revealed he has met Sir Jim Ratcliffe as the billionaire bids to buy Manchester United.

Ratcliffe, a lifelong United fan whose chemical company Ineos are among the potential purchasers, was at their Carrington training complex on Friday as talks continue to buy out the Glazer family’s 69 percent share in the club.

“I just met him and shook hands but I am focused on the game,” said Ten Hag, whose side face Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. “Others in the club are dealing with potential investors.”

The Ineos delegation also included co-owners Andy Currie and John Reece, plus sport chiefs Rob Nevin and Jean Claude Blanc as well as director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford.

Representatives of Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani, the Qatari billionaire, visited United on Thursday but Ten Hag was in Spain then, overseeing victory over Real Betis in the Europa League.

Ten Hag believes his style of play has helped Marcus Rashford enjoy the most prolific season of his career.

The forward has scored 30 goals – 27 for United and three for England – after only getting five last year and Ten Hag feels his decision to bring in former striker Benni McCarthy to coach the forwards has also helped Rashford become more potent.

Ten Hag added: “I think the most important [thing is] of course the way of play that gives him base and structure and the way of play is in his favour. I knew his skills. You also bring staff around who can make him better and make progress and I thought we needed one in the staff who was specific for strikers.

“He progressed during the season. He was not in the best shape when he started the season but the way of playing gives him a base and he brings his skills in and his attitude and mentality and that is bringing in a lot of progress and brings the team a lot of joy and gives him a lot of goals and us a lot of wins.”