Mike Phelan will not be part of Manchester United’s first-team coaching staff under new permanent manager Erik ten Hag next season, following the arrival of Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren.
Ten Hag was assisted by Van der Gaag at Ajax last season, while he grew close to McClaren during a stint at Twente a decade ago and was keen to have someone alongside at Old Trafford who already knows the club – McClaren was famously assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson from 1999 to 2001.
That means there is no place on the staff for Phelan, who was a United player himself in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Later on he was a key part of Ferguson’s first-team staff from 2008 until 2013 and returned to the club to work with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2019.
The Athletic writes that Phelan will not be employed as a first-team coach, although the possibility that he remains at the club in a non-coaching role has not yet been ruled out. Should he leave Old Trafford, his exit will need to be formally negotiated having signed a new contract last summer.
United confirmed the double appointment of Van der Gaag and McClaren towards the end of last month, with 90min having earlier revealed that their respective arrivals were seen as particularly crucial to Ten Hag’s new project. Other new support coaches are expected to continue coming.
Listen now to 90min’s brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. This week Harry Symeou steps in for Scott and the trio discuss the futures of Bukayo Saka, Rafael Leao, Romelu Lukaku, Kalvin Phillips, Youri Tielemans, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus and more.
At the end of his first week in the job, McClaren commented on the hard work that had already gone into planning for the new season under Ten Hag’s leadership.
“The work ethic and the attention to detail has just been exemplified in the last seven days where he’s practically met every member of staff who he is going to work very closely with and in detail has worked out the plan – what each person’s job is,” the coach said.
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