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Gary O’Neil dismisses talk of Manchester United move

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Mar 2024

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Gary O’Neil said there is no truth in reports that he will leave Wolves in order to replace Erik ten Hag as manager of Manchester United.

A number of names have been linked with Old Trafford since minority investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe took charge of football operations earlier this year.

O’Neil, appointed at Molineux days before the start of the current season, has overseen an impressive campaign in which Wolves have far exceeded expectations.

They currently sit ninth and are 20 points clear of the relegation zone despite having been tipped to struggle following the departure of former boss Julen Lopetegui in August.

Instead they have sights on possible European qualification and could finish the weekend in seventh – likely to be worth a place in next season’s Europa Conference League – if they beat Aston Villa on Saturday evening and other results go their way.

Despite his rising personal profile, O’Neil dismissed suggestions he is being lined up for the United job.

“I don’t know where it came from,” he said.

“Growing up, Liverpool and Manchester United always felt special. It’s an honour to be linked even if there’s no truth in it.

“I love it here. I’m a head coach, I’m always going to be a head coach. I’m really enjoying my time at Wolves. I was only made aware of (the links) by the media team to prepare for your questions.”

Matheus Cunha is in contention to feature against Villa having missed most of the last two months with a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old went off during his team’s home defeat to Brentford on February 10 but could return to the fold on Saturday.

He has scored 11 goals in all competitions in what is is his first campaign since signing permanently from Atletico Madrid.

“He will play some football for us this week,” said O’Neil. “He’s back, he’s fine and has worked his socks off. He’s shaved an enormous amount of time off the medical diagnosis of what he had.

“He’s done unbelievably well and now the decision for me is when and how long he plays. He is training, sprinting and has done everything you can do to test the hamstring, apart from being put into a Premier League game.

“It’s now on me to decide if that’s from the start tomorrow, the bench tomorrow or from the start on Tuesday (against Burnley).

“We’re trying to get it right for him as he’s massively important to us for tomorrow’s game, but also the nine after that.”

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