Manchester United are getting closer to appointing Ajax manager Erik ten Hag as their new permanent manager.
The Dutchman, 52, was reported as the club’s favored candidate last month by the Manchester Evening News and is now set to be appointed as Ralf Rangnick’s successor ahead of next season. According to reports, Ten Hag is on the verge of taking the post at Old Trafford, with only the signing of his contract remaining.
If United is successful, it will put an end to months of conjecture that have dominated events at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired in November. Ten Hag, along with PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, has been a prominent contender for the post since the Norwegian was fired and is now poised to take it.
MEN Sport has taken a deep look at how the Ajax manager could build up to United for next season, which includes three new arrivals. The Dutchman is well-known for employing a 4-3-3 formation in his nation, and it is probable that he will do so again in England.
Dean Henderson is the goalkeeper.
Despite the fact that David de Gea has had a terrific season and is nearly set to be named Player of the Year, Ajax’s interest in Dean Henderson ahead of the January transfer window could result in a change in the United goal. Henderson will have to make a huge decision about his future this summer, as he is no longer of the age where he can be content with a spot on the bench.
He’ll want to play every week, whether it’s at United or somewhere. Ten Hag’s propensity for developing domestic talent and bringing younger players through (despite Henderson’s age of 24) could provide a lifeline for the former Sheffield United loanee.
Despite just making three appearances this season, he has the potential to play at the highest level. It would be unfair to fire De Gea after such a successful season, but a new manager is sure to introduce new ideas.
Denzel Dumfries, Raphael Varane, Jurrien Timber, and Luke Shaw play defense.
This summer, United requires defensive reinforcements, particularly at right-back and center-back. The club’s senior right-back options are now Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but neither has been able to make the position their own this season, thus the addition of a right-back would make sense.
Nonetheless, despite Ajax’s star Jurrien Timber having been hailed as a solution to United’s right-back troubles, he is more comfortable playing at center-back. This season, 34 of his 38 appearances for Ajax have come in the middle of the defense, with four coming at right-back.
Ten Hag, if he is enticed to join United, may be tempted to try him out at right-back, but his lack of experience playing there may delay United’s search for a suitable replacement. Ten Hag, on the other hand, could do far worse than pursue a transfer for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries if his budget allowed.
Timber, if signed, might replace Harry Maguire at center-back. The England defender has had a terrible season, and Raphael Varane is likely to be selected over him. Luke Shaw can stay at left-back.
Kalvin Phillips, Donny van de Beek, and Bruno Fernandes play in the midfield.
Midfield is the part of the team that will be altered this summer. United fans are keen for the team to reinforce its defense, and despite persistent links with Declan Rice, the management has already identified Kalvin Phillips of Leeds as a possible replacement.
According to the Manchester Evening News, United is planning a move to lure Phillips to Old Trafford and is close to finalizing a deal to sign him. He’d play in midfield, probably with Donny van de Beek, who succeeded under Ten Hag at Ajax and is about to return after a loan spell at Everton.
Bruno Fernandes would be United’s most advanced midfielder, ahead of Phillips and Van de Beek. Despite his ups and downs this season, he remains an important player for the team, having recently signed a new contract. Places would be up for grabs between Fred and Scott McTominay.
Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Jadon Sancho lead the attack.
With Edinson Cavani set to leave when his contract ends, United will be left with only Cristiano Ronaldo as their senior center-forward option. And, despite the uncertainties surrounding his future, he is likely to remain at the club.
Nonetheless, United will require the addition of another striker, preferably one of a younger age. Numerous players have been mentioned, but none have been identified as concrete targets.
In the wide areas, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Elanga are all expected to return next season, giving Ten Hag some solid alternatives, even though Rashford has struggled this season. Antony of Ajax has been linked with a move to United, but it is unclear whether he will be required.