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Manchester United odds for Premier League top four as Erik ten Hag signs new contract

Manchester United are 2/1 to finish in the Premier League top four following the news that Erik ten Hag has penned a new contract as manager.

Manchester United Top Four Odds

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The Dutchman was expected to leave Old Trafford at the end of last season following INEOS’s takeover of footballing operations, with the group looking to appoint their own manager.

The likes of Graham Potter and Gareth Southgate had been strongly linked with the job, both of whom had worked with incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth at Brighton and England respectively.

Mauricio Pochettino was also linked with the job following his departure from Chelsea, with Thomas Tuchel another name considered after bringing his time at Bayern Munich to an end. Former coach Kieran McKenna was also linked with the club but signed a new deal with Ipswich.

But United’s top brass have opted to stick with Ten Hag, who led the club to an eighth-place finish – their worst finish since 1990 – having picked up just 60 points – the second fewest in the Premier League era.

The Red Devils did end the season on a high note, however, convincingly beating rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final, getting revenge for their 2023 defeat, and the performance may have had some bearing on the decision to keep Ten Hag in post.

The former Ajax boss has now put pen to paper on a new deal at the club which sees him contracted until the summer of 2026.

The new footballing structure at Old Trafford will likely see Ten Hag’s role change somewhat; it’s believed the Dutchman had a big say in transfers in his first two seasons in charge, as the club spent around £400m on Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana, Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.

Martinez is the pick of the bunch and even he’s been limited to just 32 Premier League starts across his two campaigns in Manchester.

Ahead of next season, United need at least one centre-back, probably a left-back should Luke Shaw and Malacia's fitness issues persist, a right winger and another central midfielder, and it’s hard to see where the club will raise sufficient funds to be able to properly reinforce the squad.

Paul Ince spent six years in Manchester United's midfield, and identified that as a problem area for his former club. Ince said: "When Casemiro was a world-class player at Real Madrid, he was playing alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and spending most of the game in possession. That’s a lot easier than playing when your team doesn't have much possession and you’re the only one in the middle of the park.

"Casemiro has never been the quickest of players and we've seen that this season, he’s also played as a central defender which is definitely not the player we know."

It leaves United in a precarious position. While they’ve perhaps been the most injury-hit side in the Premier League, there’s nothing to suggest they won’t suffer similar luck with injuries in the new season, while the sides around them will look to press on.

Newcastle’s position around transfers is unclear and they may need to sell one or two of their biggest stars, but continue to impress under Eddie Howe. Chelsea, too, will likely see some movement within their squad but will expect to improve on last season with a new man in the dugout.

Tottenham can hope to kick on after a decent first season with Ange Postecoglou, and though Aston Villa will have Champions League football to contend with, there’s no reason to think United can leapfrog them, while the Old Trafford side are still miles behind Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

It leaves United 2/1 for the top four, and while English clubs will be optimistic that fifth place will get a Champions League berth this time around, even that will likely be beyond them.

Manchester United Top Two Odds

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Premier League 2024/25

Manchester United

All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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