Manchester United player decided to leave despite Ten Hag wanting him to stay

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reacts against Real Betis.

Manchester United wanted Jack Butland to stay beyond the summer REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo.

Jack Butland has revealed he snubbed a permanent contract offer from Manchester United in favour of a switch to Rangers.

The Englishman joined Erik ten Hag’s squad in January on loan from Crystal Palace following the departure of Martin Dubravka and ended his six-month stint without a single appearance under his belt, with Ten Hag continuing to place his trust in David de Gea. Accordingly, when Rangers came calling with a promise of regular football, Butland didn’t take long to say goodbye to a club he supported as a kid.

“It wasn’t difficult,” Butland told Football Scotland. “Joining Manchester United was a great opportunity to join a club I supported as a kid and learn from the best and things like that but you quickly get to a point where you realise just how much you miss playing yourself and how much you miss the winning feeling.”

Ten Hag blocked another Manchester United goalkeeper from leaving

Ten Hag wanted Butland to continue at Old Trafford but had little control over his future. Considering the club’s precarious goalkeeping situation, the Dutch coach reportedly blocked a move for Tom Heaton instead.

The 37-year-old was attracting interest from Luton Town and was open to joining the newly-promoted side, who were prepared to make him their No 1. However, the indecision over De Gea’s future meant Ten Hag couldn’t risk losing another shot-stopper ahead of pre-season.

The Spaniard is now officially a free agent, but United remain open to re-signing him despite Ten Hag’s desire to bring in a new goalkeeper.

Inter Milan’s Andre Onana is his preferred pick, but United might be reluctant to meet the Serie A outfit’s asking price believed to be in the region of £50m. De Gea’s return is a real possibility in the event the club’s hierarchy fail to find a new goalkeeper for a reasonable fee or decide to spend their limited budget on a new striker.