Erik ten Hag is the latest favorite to take over as manager of Manchester United, and the Ajax manager has already stated his desire to work abroad.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Ten Hag has emerged as United’s favored candidate to take charge at Old Trafford this summer. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal in November, the Dutchman has been competing with Mauricio Pochettino as the two frontrunners for the post.
As of now, United has not made a final decision and is continuing with its approach. The club, though, intends to make their appointment before the end of the season, in preparation for what will be a key summer.
With Ralf Rangnick poised to become a consultant and a slew of players likely to leave the club, United’s new manager will face a massive task following what has been a disastrous season for the club. The club, on the other hand, appears to have picked their favorite candidate for the role.
Ten Hag has been tight-lipped regarding his future for the previous few months. When the first rumors about the United position surfaced, the 52-year-old aggressively brushed them aside.
“I live in the now, so I find it difficult to respond,” Ten Hag told ESPN in November. “I’m always looking for ways to enhance my squad, and as long as I’m motivated, I’ll keep trying, if Ajax is as well.”
“I’m content at Ajax.” I can do an excellent job there. The weather and conditions are ideal. Good management and very friendly staff, not to mention a very good bunch of players that are also flexible.”
Ten Hag appears to have changed his tune in recent weeks. Since Marc Overmars’ departure as director of football in Amsterdam, the Ajax manager has been vocal about his sentiments, and he has expressed dissatisfaction with the club’s current situation.
“Our team’s lifespan has always been limited in recent years,” he observed this week. “I knew — and continue to comprehend – player sales.” But if you want to continue playing a key part in the Champions League, you can’t put up with such bloodletting.”
His strongest indication that he is ready for a new challenge, though, came in December. With United rumors swirling, Ten Hag hinted that he would be interested in taking the post.
“I believe I am prepared for it [coaching abroad]. I’d be delighted to take on that responsibility “Ten Hag told the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant in December. “But I’m not going after it. If that step does not materialize, I will not consider my coaching career a failure. But I believe I have the necessary skills to take on that challenge.”
Ten Hag has lately denied that he is taking English lessons in preparation for a move to Manchester United, but recent interviews have revealed that he is seriously pondering his future at Ajax. With the Reds interested in him, a move to Old Trafford could be on the cards.