At the current moment in time, all signs point to Manchester United hiring Erik ten Hag as their next manager. The Dutchman is the overwhelming favourite to take over at Old Trafford, particularly after a second round of interviews. And his arrival could be the start of a bright new era.
When it comes to United hiring a new manager, there have been several names mooted.
Mauricio Pochettino has regularly been linked amid uncertainty over his Paris Saint-Germain future, having been admired by the club ever since his time at Southampton.
Julen Lopetegui has also emerged as an option, having done well to rebuild his career at Sevilla following a difficult time at Real Madrid.
And Luis Enrique, despite making it abundantly clear that he’s committed to the Spain national team, is another person on their shortlist.
When it comes to United having an ideal summer, however, Ten Hag’s appointment would be the way to go.
The Ajax boss has done well during his five years in the Netherlands, winning two league titles while getting his team to play some enthralling football along the way.
And that makes him the perfect person for the United job.
Sure, he’s not got the same big reputation such as predecessors Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
But Ten Hag learned from Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich and would be able to bring his possession-based, attacking style of play to Old Trafford.
Every time United hire a new manager, they tend to give them big transfer backing – the unfortunate David Moyes aside.
Van Gaal was gifted the signings of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao.
And Mourinho, during his maiden summer in charge, got given reinforcements in Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With Ten Hag, it’s feasible they could sign as many as five players at the end of the campaign.
Antony is one player being linked and, with the Red Devils likely to lose Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, would be a great replacement for either of the pair.
Likewise Ajax team-mate Jurrien Timber, who can boost their centre-back options at a time where Harry Maguire has failed to live up to expectations.
In midfield department,Man United want to land Declan Rice.
That’s something they’ve already agreed in private, with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher both full of admiration for the West Ham star.
And it’s hard to see Ten Hag objecting, especially given how lacking United are in that area when compared to their rivals.
United will likely need a back-up goalkeeper to provide competition for David De Gea, at a time where Dean Henderson is expected to depart.
Henderson has stayed professional at United this season but the England international is fed up at barely playing under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
Sam Johnstone has been mentioned as a possible replacement, with the West Brom goalkeeper previously coming up through the United academy.
And United, as their fifth ideal summer signing, would like a young centre-forward as well.
Gone are the days where they were tipped to pursue Erling Haaland, with the Norway international destined to leave Borussia Dortmund for elsewhere.
There are, however, several players the club may try and snap up.
Darwin Nunez is on their radar, with the Benfica striker enhancing his reputation as one of Europe’s hottest young talents with over 20 goals across all competitions.
Alexander Isak was linked in January and there’s a sense he’d jump at the chance to leave Real Sociedad for an elite club.
And Man United have been put forward as having interest in Tottenham’s Harry Kane, even if Spurs may try and price their rivals out of a deal.
If United appoint Ten Hag, the good times may be round the corner again.
If they sign Antony, Timber, Rice, Johnstone and Nunez/Isak/Kane, it will certainly boost their chances of a successful future.
Yet whether that happens, especially with the Red Devils’ record patchy since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement nine years ago, remains to be seen.