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Manchester United ownership needs resolution for clarity on Erik ten Hag future – sources

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Manchester United’s ownership situation needs a quicker resolution to bring greater clarity to Erik ten Hag’s position, numerous sources connected to the club have told BBC Sport.

Ten Hag says he is “a fighter” and admitted United are “in a bad place”, while club officials have attempted to play down speculation about his future.

United face a run of “must-win” games.

Saturday’s trip to Fulham, opponents United have not lost to since 2009, is followed by a Champions League trip to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen.

After starting their group campaign with successive defeats, United probably need a total of at least four points from that game and the 29 November encounter with Galatasaray in Istanbul to feel confident about advancing to the knockout stage.

After that comes the visit of Luton Town to Old Trafford. The Hatters have only avoided defeat in an away game against United once in their history, in 1897.

Poor results in those games would bring United under intense pressure to make a managerial change, but that process may not be straightforward.

It is nearly a year since the Glazer family said they were considering selling the club as they “explore strategic alternatives”.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group is aiming to secure a 25% stake in United but the deal is still to be completed.

Ratcliffe wants to assume control of the football operations side of United and would have a major say on any potential decision to replace Ten Hag.

But strict rules around the entire bid process would make it difficult for the Glazer family to consult Ratcliffe until a deal is finalised.

It is felt by many observers that United would benefit from the ownership situation being clarified, with most also feeling a fresh look at how Old Trafford operates by Ratcliffe would be a positive.

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