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Minnesota United close to naming Manchester United assistant Eric Ramsay as head coach: Sources

Minnesota United is nearing a deal to appoint Manchester United assistant coach Eric Ramsay as their new manager, sources briefed on the deal tell The Athletic.

The deal isn’t quite done or signed yet, as Ramsay remains under contract with United, but all parties are working on it.

At 32 years old, Ramsay, who is highly rated in the English game, will be the youngest head coach in MLS this season by a wide margin. NYCFC’s Nick Cushing, at 39, is the second youngest. Ramsay will also become the youngest full-time head coach in MLS history (Yoann Damet was FC Cincinnati’s interim manager in 2019 when he was 29 years old, and Roy Wegerle was 32 when he debuted with the Colorado Rapids in 1996).

Ramsay has worked under several managers in Manchester, staying on through different regimes and rising at the club. Ramsay joined the club as a player development and set-piece coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He remained under Ralf Rangnick and grew in importance on Erik ten Hag’s staff after the Dutchman was appointed manager ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Ramsay was also an assistant coach for the Wales national team for six months in addition to his duties with United, before stepping away last fall. When he was announced, Wales manager Rob Page called Ramsay “arguably one of the best young coaches in football at this moment in time.” Ramsay previously worked as an under-23 assistant coach at Chelsea and speaks fluent Spanish.

The Athletic reported a year ago that Blackpool made an advance to hire Ramsay as their manager, but he stayed put in Manchester. Swansea City was also interested in appointing him as successor to Michael Duff in December.

The coaching search is the biggest decision yet for new sporting director Khaled El-Ahmad, who joined the club this offseason. Minnesota United’s coaching search was extensive, interviewing candidates both domestic and abroad. The club parted ways with Adrian Heath at the end of last season, moving on from the only coach in the club’s seven-year MLS history. El-Ahmad took over as sporting director this winter but had a delayed arrival due to his duties with Barnsley, hence the delay in naming a head coach.

The club’s roster is returning plenty of quality, led by Emanuel Reynoso, Teemu Pukki and Robin Lod. Minnesota also added the likes of center back Victor Eriksson, forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith and midfielder Caden Clark this offseason. It’s expected that Minnesota United will adopt a higher tempo system than in previous years, focused on transition, pressing and a greater emphasis on youth.

Cameron Knowles, head coach of Minnesota’s second team, will handle the Loons’ matches until Ramsay arrives. Minnesota opens their season Saturday against Austin FC.

(Photo: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

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