Sir Jim Ratcliffe risks anger with Liverpool and Chelsea leaving Man Utd in their wake

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS having yet made a decision on Erik ten Hag’s future. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United risk being left behind by their Premier League rivals next season if Sir Jim Ratcliffe doesn’t provide clarity on the manager situation at Old Trafford soon.

It was reported last month that Ten Hag would be sacked from his role as United chief, regardless of the outcome of the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

But much to the surprise of the football world, Ten Hag’s odds-defying Red Devils overcame their local rivals to lift a second piece of silverware in as many seasons.

And over a week on from the Wembley final, Ten Hag is still – at least officially – the United manager.

The uncertainty around United’s position on the Dutchman may end up hampering the club in several ways, not least their search for a replacement.

Teams across the Premier League have spent the early part of this summer appointing new gaffers, with Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham among those to have revealed their new head coach already.

It means the pool United will be operating in, should they press forward with plans to sack Ten Hag, has already shrunk since the season came to a close.

Then there’s the small matter of the European Championships, which are set to kick off in Germany next Friday.

Erik ten Hag has lifted two trophies in charge of Man United. (Image: Getty)

By the time the tournament has finished in mid-July, United’s non-international players will have reported back for pre-season, with the start of the Premier League season just one month away.

As such, time is already of the essence for United, especially when it comes to potential summer transfers.

Given it is Ratcliffe and INEOS’ first transfer window in charge of the Old Trafford outfit, the new-look ownership team will be keen to make an immediate impact.

But trying to persuade big-name talent to join United and snub offers from elsewhere will be much harder if there isn’t a clear plan in place from top to bottom – that starts with the manager.

There is still time for United to fix this. A swift decision on who will be taking charge of the team next season gives the board time to work behind the scenes during the Euros, ready to attack the transfer window on the opposite side of the tournament.

However, any more twiddling of thumbs could see United’s already disadvantaged position in the Premier League go from bad to worse.