EXCLUSIVE: Man Utd turn to Frank and NOT Southgate with Ancelotti out of reach

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 25 Mar 2024 22:10 GMT
  • 3 min read
Thomas Frank, Gareth Southgate, Man Utd, 2023/24

Manchester United are targeting Brentford manager Thomas Frank to take over from Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford in the summer and not England boss Gareth Southgate, FootballTransfers can reveal.

Speculation continues to build over who could potentially replace the former Ajax boss at Old Trafford if he departs in the summer, with Southgate a surprise name that has emerged over recent days.

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While the Three Lions boss is admired by Sir Dave Brailsford, who is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s right-hand man, he is far from a unanimous choice among the Red Devils’ new hierarchy and is likely to be passed over as a serious candidate for the role.

READ MORE: France star can save Man Utd €100m if Ratcliffe forgets Joao Neves

Instead, it is Brentford manager Frank who is being earmarked for the Man Utd dugout, having enjoyed an impressive six-year spell in charge of the Bees, leading them from the Championship to the top half of the Premier League table last season.

United would ideally like Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti, who Brailsford is a huge fan of, but the Italian is seen as an unrealistic target.

READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano reveals Man Utd bid for Barcelona star

Carlo Ancelotti is out of Man Utd's reach
© IMAGO - Carlo Ancelotti is out of Man Utd's reach

Frank is Man Utd’s top target

Frank is, therefore, earmarked for the job should Ten Hag depart, which is still regarded as a 50/50 decision.

The 50-year-old Dane, who previously worked in a kindergarten, has extensive experience coaching his country’s top young prospects, while he also enjoyed a three-year spell at Brondby before moving to England with Brentford in 2018.

Under contract until 2027 with the Bees, he has employed an attacking style that has made him admired across the Premier League.

Thomas Frank gets the crowd going as Brentford face Burnley
© IMAGO - Thomas Frank gets the crowd going as Brentford face Burnley

Man Utd will be particularly attracted by his ability to identify and progress young talents, which is the direction that Ratcliffe and Brailsford have hinted their transfer policy will move primarily in.

The drawbacks of Frank are that he has not any experience working at a big club or with players the stature of Manchester United’s, while he has also yet to win any major honours as a manager – something that would be demanded of him at Old Trafford.

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