Erik ten Hag has confirmed he met potential Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe on Friday during the British billionaire’s talks to buy the club.
Ratcliffe and other members of his consortium met United CEO Richard Arnold at Old Trafford on Friday morning before touring the Carrington training base.
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Ten Hag was introduced to Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, at Carrington after flying back to Manchester on Thursday night following United’s 1-0 win over Real Betis in the Europa League.
“I just met them, we shake hands, I’m focused on the game. We play a big game on Sunday, all our focus is on that, others in the club are dealing with potential investors,” Ten Hag told a news conference on Friday afternoon.
Ratcliffe was at Old Trafford 24 hours after representatives of Qatar businessman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani also met with United officials to discuss their takeover bid on Thursday.
The club hope to have clarity on the ownership situation by the end of the season and Ten Hag insists his only focus is on the run-in, starting with Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Fulham.
“My job in this moment is focus on the game so let’s talk about the game, it’s a big tie and we have to get ready for that,” he said.
Ten Hag will be without Casemiro against Fulham as the Brazilian midfielder sits out the first game of his four-game suspension following his red card in the 0-0 draw with Southampton.
Bruno Fernandes and Fred are almost certain to start with either Marcel Sabitzer or Scott McTominay coming in to replace Casemiro.
“We had many more games without Casemiro,” said Ten Hag.
“We did really well without Casemiro against Arsenal, Leeds and also at the start of the season but I want to have Casemiro available. He has huge impact on our game.
“We also won many games without Casemiro so he is not available so we have to do with many players.”