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Erik ten Hag: Manchester United interview Ajax coach in search for permanent manager

Ten Hag is one of several candidates considered for permanent manager’s role

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Wednesday 23 March 2022 07:56 GMT
<p>Manchester United have interviewed Ajax coach Erik ten Hag over the permanent manager’s job</p>

Manchester United have interviewed Ajax coach Erik ten Hag over the permanent manager’s job

Erik ten Hag has been formally interviewed by Manchester United as part of the process to find the club's next permanent manager.

The Ajax coach is understood to be one of several names on a shortlist of multiple candidates who will be approached over the role.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino is among those under consideration, along with Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique.

Ten Hag has emerged as the bookmakers' new favourite to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in recent weeks, though sources at United insist it is premature to suggest that any one candidate leads the race.

The 52-year-old has led Ajax to two Eredivisie titles since being appointed head coach in 2017, as well as guiding them on a memorable run to the Champions League semi-finals three years ago that earned him a reputation as one of European football’s leading coaches.

Ten Hag's current contract at Ajax is set to expire at the end of next season, though there is an expectation in Holland that this season will be his last.

Ajax are currently two points clear at the top of the Eredivise table, though were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Benfica last week in a shock exit.

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag lead Manchester United’s managerial shortlist

United have a strong relationship with the Amsterdam club due to their links to their former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, currently Ajax's chief executive.

Ralf Rangnick, United's current interim manager, will remain in temporary charge until the end of the season.

United are nevertheless eager to conclude the process of appointing a new permanent manager before Rangnick's temporary spell comes to an end.

Sources at Old Trafford insist that the club remains open-minded about the identity of their next manager and that there is no early favourite at this stage.

United will see through a process which has been led by football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher, who were appointed to lead the club’s restructured football department last year.

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