If Erik ten Hag is appointed manager of Manchester United, he has already lined up his first two acquisitions.
The Ajax manager is the frontrunner to succeed Ralf Rangnick after the club interviewed him for the position. United have spoken to Ten Hag, Mauricio Pochettino, and Luis Enrique of Spain, but the Dutchman is the frontrunner for the job, with the Red Devils able to trigger his release from Ajax, according to Simon Mullock of Mirror Football.
When United made an official proposal, they expected to have to pay Ajax slightly under £5 million in compensation for the final 12 months of Ten Hag’s contract. However, Mirror Football can reveal that the 52-year-old included a get-out clause in his one-year contract, which can be activated for merely €2 million (£1.68 million).
If Pochettino leaves at the end of the season, PSG is unlikely to demand compensation, but sacking the former Tottenham manager and his team will cost roughly £17 million, putting Ten Hag in pole position.
Despite the Dutch side’s best efforts to retain him in the Netherlands, Ten Hag is keen on a move to Old Trafford. Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar wants to offer him a new contract worth double his current £2 million per year, but the former United goalkeeper is already planning his exit.
Two other clubs, one from the Netherlands and the other from Germany, are also interested in the Dutchman and have offered him substantial offers. And Ten Hag has already identified two players that he wants to bring to his new club.
Antony, a Brazilian winger, has surfaced as a possible target following an exceptional season in which he scored 12 goals and added eight assists, while Ten Hag believes Jurrien Timber, a centre-back, will quickly address United’s defensive issues. The 20-year-old has previously represented his country and will be part of Louis van Gaal’s World Cup team.
Ralf Rangnick remained tight-lipped on United’s search for a new manager, stating only, “I don’t know.” I know they’ve spoken to a few folks, but we haven’t yet discussed their experiences and impressions from those meetings.”
“It’s always fantastic if you have money available to buy players, but the key is do you get the correct players,” Rangnick said when asked about United’s recruitment plans this summer.
“It’s not just a matter of money; it’s also a matter of what kind of philosophy you have behind that.” What kind of philosophy are you talking about? And what kind of game do you want to play? It’s not just about the money.”