Rio Ferdinand sends INEOS warning to Erik ten Hag and makes Manchester derby prediction | Football

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover of Manchester United was completed last week (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand has warned Erik ten Hag ‘it wouldn’t be a big thing’ for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS to pull the trigger on his tenure at Manchester United should the club fail to secure a top-four finish this term.

In Ten Hag’s second campaign as head coach at Old Trafford, United find themselves languishing down in sixth place in the English top flight, 16 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool following a painful defeat at home to Fulham last weekend.

In the Champions League, United endured their worst ever campaign after finishing rock-bottom of their group, leaving the FA Cup as their only realistic shot at silverware before the end of the season.

After Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion partial takeover of United was officially completed last week, the 71-year-old businessman, the CEO of INEOS chemicals group, immediately outlined his ambitions to return the club to their former glory.

Ten Had revealed he had a ‘fantastic feeling’ after talking privately with Ratcliffe, though the British billionaire has underlined that ‘sometimes you do have to make decisions that may not be popular’, casting some doubt over the manager’s future.

Ratcliffe has also been keen to stress that INEOS are ‘not a brutal organisation’, but Ferdinand believes he would have no problem removing Ten Hag if he felt it was the best thing for the club.

Asked whether Ten Hag will keep his job if United fail to finish in the top four, Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE: ‘It depends how [he finishes the season]. If he runs it close and they see an upturn in form and an upturn in the environment at the training ground.

Rio Ferdinand and Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag

Ferdinand believes Ten Hag’s job could be under threat (Picture: Getty)

‘And if they can see something where it’s like, “Okay we can see what it looks like going into next season maybe, if we add the right pieces to it as well”.

‘Given the structure behind him now it could be [a different story]. A lot of moving parts have to fall into place for him to stay.

‘But if they don’t finish the season well and they’re losing games and it looks like the dressing room ain’t a harmonious place… and one thing I would say is, I don’t think Jim Ratcliffe and his team are shy of making big decisions.’

The Red Devils suffered defeat at home to Fulham last time out (Picture: Getty)

The legendary ex-United and England defender added: ‘It wouldn’t be a big thing for them if they had to intervene.

‘They wouldn’t be thinking, “Oh I’ve got to work out the media and the PR”.

‘No, no. What’s right for Man United now, they’ll do.’

Ferdinand is far from confident about United’s chances away to noisy neighbours Manchester City on March 3, with Pep Guardiola’s champions currently riding a 17-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

‘It’s going to be a long day, man. It’s hard enough to go to the Etihad anyway, but we’re going there with no confidence,’ he said when asked for a prediction ahead of the Etihad clash.

‘I think we get beat by two goals. Convincingly.’

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