Manchester United are in talks with former Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone over a player-coach role with the U21 team.
The 35-year-old left Hull City at the end of last season and looks set to move into coaching following a playing career that included eight seasons at Spurs and four England caps.
Huddlestone would be allowed to play as an over-aged player in Premier League 2 matches, which is an U21 competition that allows clubs to field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to five “over-age” outfield players in every match.
The former Derby midfielder looks set to replace Paul McShane, who had fulfilled a similar role at United before retiring this summer.
The 36-year-old, who began his playing career in the United academy, re-joined the club in 2021 as a playing coach in the academy, but he will now continue his work as a United academy coach in the Professional Development Phase (U18 to U23).
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Reporter notebook: How Ten Hag is making his mark at Old Trafford
There is a pause, the three or so seconds allowing a technical staffer to offer his most accurate assessment of the manager’s debut pre-season in charge of Manchester United.
“There can be no doubt, this is Erik ten Hag’s club.”
The summation does not require elaboration for those who witnessed the Dutchman from close quarters during United’s tour of Thailand and Australia.
Ten Hag is in control, his influence stretching not solely to the large details at the club such as operational structure, but even the little ones like preventing the players from visiting and being filmed on the set of Australian soap Neighbours.
Nothing escapes the manager, from the squad’s media commitments to the exact spacing between cones during training drills which he tends to measure himself.
When something doesn’t feed into his “highest standards” ethos, there is no silence.
Read the full feature by Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Melissa Reddy here.
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