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Minnesota United has targeted Manchester United assistant coach Eric Ramsay to become the second head coach in its eight-year history.

The deal is not done, but Ramsay is the leading candidate, a source familiar with the coaching search confirmed to the Star Tribune on Monday.

The team's eighth regular season begins Saturday at Austin FC, where current interim coach Cameron Knowles will coach the Loons.

At 32, Ramsay would be the youngest head coach in MLS history, hired by new sporting director Khaled El-Ahmad. El-Ahmad intends to make the Loons' current roster younger, with more players who can press defensively higher up the field.

Knowles is expected to coach the team until Ramsay's hiring is finalized and his immigration paperwork is completed.

Current Loons players Michael Boxall (35), Clint Irwin (34), Teemu Pukki (33), and Zarek Valentin (32) are 32 or older. That's as old or older than Ramsay, who turned 32 on Valentine's Day last week.

Ramsay joined the famed Premier League club in 2021 as a player-development and set-piece coach. He currently works for Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag and has been an assistant back home with the Wales national team last year as well as Chelsea, Swansea City and Shrewsbury Town before that. He is the youngest coach to earn his coaching UEFA Pro License.

Wales head coach Rob Page called Ramsay "arguably one of the best young coaches in football at this moment in time" when Ramsay was hired.

Ramsay is seven years younger than MLS' next youngest coach, New York City FC's Nick Cushing, who is 39.

The search to replace Adrian Heath — the first and only head coach in Loons history until he was fired late last season — was extensive. There were finalists from both MLS and England/Europe to replace Heath, who now is 63.

Knowles coached Minnesota MLS Next Pro's MNUFC2 team last season. He is the Loons' second interim coach this offseason. Assistant coach Sean McAuley coached the Loons' last two games last season, but left in January to coach the USL Championship Indy Eleven team.