Man Utd risk instant Ruud van Nistelrooy row if INEOS make unpopular decision

Man Utd may risk an instant Ruud van Nistelrooy row. (Image: Getty)

It might not take long for Manchester United and Ruud van Nistelrooy to have their first disagreement if he decides to join the club’s coaching staff. United have reportedly approached the Old Trafford icon to join Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff as part of INEOS’ shake-up on and off the pitch.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s group has already overseen significant change to the football structure, including the appointments of a new chief executive, sporting director and technical director.

There is also thought to be a concrete possibility of a coaching upheaval, though, despite Ten Hag avoiding the sack after a troublesome second season in charge.

Van Nistelrooy could act as a straight replacement for Benni McCarthy, who is out of contract this summer and expected to depart.

But the Dutchman may be a candidate to replace Mitchell van der Gaag as Ten Hag’s assistant amid uncertainty surrounding his long-term partner’s future.

He would become a prominent figure at the club, regardless, given his two spells as an assistant for the Netherlands national team and his impressive 2022/23 season as PSV Eindhoven manager.

One of the stars of his short-lived tenure at PSV, Jarrad Branthwaite, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer.

Everton have rejected an opening £43million offer and are holding firm on their £70m valuation, which United won’t be paying in a summer restricted by FFP and PSR concerns.

Jarrad Branthwaite played under Ruud van Nistelrooy at PSV. (Image: Getty)

Branthwaite played 36 times under Van Nistelrooy at PSV before enjoying a sensational first campaign as an Everton regular in 2023/24.

The 21-year-old earned his first England cap earlier this summer and is recognised as one of Europe’s most talented young centre-backs.

For that reason, while United’s decision to walk away from a deal in favour of a cheap alternative may be necessary, it would prove unpopular.

And Van Nistelrooy would undoubtedly be among those frustrated at Branthwaite’s move collapsing, given his likely eagerness to reunite.

“He is a great talent. The boy is young, but he has a future,” Van Nistelrooy explained while the pair worked together in Eindhoven.

“He is good on the ball, can play on the left or the right of centre-back because he is two-footed. He has height and speed, so he is very complete.”

United may be pressured into meeting Everton’s demands for Branthwaite, with top alternatives Leny Yoro and Jean-Clair Todibo thought to be off the table.

But any pursuit worth higher than their initial £43m proposal could rely on completing player sales beforehand.