Ten Hag reveals plan for Amad's future
Erik ten Hag was quizzed on the future of loan star Amad on Friday, as journalists convened at Carrington on the eve of Manchester United's Premier League showdown with Wolverhampton Wanderers (Saturday 15:00 BST).
The Ivorian playmaker has spent the season in the north east with Championship hopefuls Sunderland, and was key in the Black Cats' dramatic late push to grab the division's final play-off spot.
A glorious, instinctive strike from Amad gave Tony Mowbray's men the lead at Preston on the final day of the second tier's regular season, and viral videos of the magic moment sparked excitement among many United fans, who have been eagerly discussing the 20-year-old's future in the days since.
Several reporters on the Carrington beat duly picked up on that theme, and asked our manager about the youngster at his pre-match press conference.
The questioner noted that Amad has recently been named Sunderland's Young Player of the Year, and then queried whether Ten Hag saw the forward's future at Old Trafford.
"Yes, of course," replied the Dutchman. "We loan such players to let them develop and make progress. To bring them back... that is the aim of a loan.
"We are really strong on them on the matter of the way we mentor them, and so we follow them and we have communication through all the season, especially Darren Fletcher.
"He invests a lot in such processes and the aim is to bring them back as a better player and with better experience."
Earlier in the season, Amad told our official club magazine, Inside United, that he is in regular contact with not just technical director Fletcher, but also three first-team players. The Ivory Coast international also admits he keeps a very close eye on the performances of Ten Hag's side.
"I speak with Darren Fletcher and he sometimes sends me messages when I play well and score. He likes to congratulate me.
"In terms of the players, I regularly talk with Anthony Elanga, Bruno Fernandes and sometimes Alejandro Garnacho. I watch every United game – when Sunderland are not playing at the same time.
"I really liked the game with Barcelona. It was a big game and I supported United. It was a really good victory for United."
Amad already has nine first-team appearances to his name with United, having made his debut in a Europa League tie against Real Sociedad in February 2021.
He grabbed his first and only United goal so far in the following round of that competition, with a memorable header against AC Milan.
But before his scheduled return to M16, there's the small matter of Sunderland's promotion hopes. The Black Cats face Luton Town tomorrow (17:30 BST), in the first leg of a play-off semi-final tie that will propel one of the clubs to a showpiece Wembley final.