Blow to Benni McCarthy? Erik ten Hag ‘approaches’ ex-Man United striker to join his coaching staff

The Bafana Bafana legend’s time at the Premier League giants looks to have come to an end

Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy may not return to Manchester United after all following reports that club legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has been approached to join the coaching staff.

Manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly keen to reorganise his backroom staff after beginning talks over a new contract having escaped the axe and sees the former United striker as an ideal candidate to strengthen his coaching staff.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported on Sunday that the Dutch manager has approached his compatriot over a role on the technical bench which could potentially spell doom for South Africa’s leading scorer McCarthy.

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Man United have not shown an indication in extending Benni’s contract

McCarthy’s two-year contract is coming to an end this month and there is no indication that United are keen to extend it and Ten Hag seems to be planning ahead.

The former Cape Town City and AmaZulu tactician was hired by United to work as the club’s attacking coach to help sharpen the forwards but after an impressive first season, when Marcus Rashford’s record 30 goals were credited to him, the Red Devils’ attackers underwhelmed in 2023-24.

The fact that Van Nistelrooy was a lethal striker who enjoyed a cult status at United means he would be working with the club’s forwards, effectively slamming the door on McCarthy.

Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy. Photo: Imago

Ruud van Nistelrooy enjoyed cult status at United from 2001-2006

Van Nistelrooy enjoyed five impressive seasons at United, between 2001 and 2006, when he scored 150 goals in 219 games to help Alex Ferguson’s side to Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup glory before he moved to Real Madrid.

The 47-year-old has been out of work since leaving PSV Eindhoven in May 2023 but United are not the only English club interested in his services as Championship club Burnley have reportedly put him among candidates to replace Vincent Kompany who joined Bayern Munich.

McCarthy has been rumoured to be attracting interest from MLS sides and the latest development could accelerate his move to the United States of America.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.