According to recent reports, the Dutchman has lost the trust of many first-team players, garnering a response from the club and the manager.

Manchester United has surprised everyone by banning well-known journalists from their press conference ahead of Wednesday's highly-anticipated showdown with Chelsea in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have won only half of their last 10 matches across all competitions and head into their midweek fixture on the back of a frustrating defeat away to Newcastle over the weekend. Nonetheless, preparation for Wednesday's game has been hampered by reports of a rift between the manager and the players.

According to these reports, members of the first team have become disillusioned with Erik ten Hag following their dreadful start to the season and have taken issue with his tactics, training sessions, and the Dutchman's man management.

However, these stories did not go down well with the club. Manchester United announced their decision to ban the journalists who ran this story and their organizations from Wednesday's press conference. The Premier League giants stressed that this decision was not due to the negative content but because the club was not contacted first for comment.

The journalists banned include Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol, the Manchester Evening News' Samuel Luckhurst, the Mirror's David McDonnell, and ESPN's Rob Dawson. As revealed by the Manchester Evening News, this decision was communicated to these organizations by the club's communications director Andrew Ward. Ward, who joined the club in 2019, has been accused of preventing journalists from asking questions before due to "perceived negative coverage," as per the aforementioned Manchester Evening News article.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag addressed the claims that he has lost the dressing room, rubbishing these reports and stressing that his players remain committed to his project while elaborating on the club's decision to ban the aforementioned journalists.

"They should come to us first (the media) and not go around our back printing articles, that is not the right thing," Ten Hag said, as per the Athletic. "I think we have another relationship, they can, they should come to us beforehand, we have a normal and professional discussion and debate about it.

"Of course, there are always in every team players who are not playing or less playing who are less happy, that is not different to normal, in some circumstances you need that, they have to wait for their chance and that can come. But no, there are no issues.

"I listen always to my players and I give them always opportunities to tell, if the players have a different opinion of course I will listen. But they haven't told me. Or maybe one or two, but it is about in general, the majority, they want to play like this – proactive, dynamic, brave, that is what they want.

"You can see the players are behind it because of the performances against Everton and Galatasaray. You see that we are really improving. You see that goal? Do you think we can make the goal we did against Everton if the players don't embrace it? What do you think?

"We are on a journey, a route, we know we are still in transition but we are in the right direction, you see it how we construct a team, develop it, the team is progressing, how young players coming in and you see the potential how they can contribute to a very successful Manchester United for the future."

It remains uncertain whether the bans issued were for the Chelsea pre-match press conference or whether they will remain in effect until further notice."