Manchester United are hoping to conclude a deal to make Erik ten Hag their next permanent manager this week, it has been claimed. United are currently in talks with the Ajax manager that are making good progress. They have made the Dutchman their No 1 target to replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season over Mauricio Pochettino after a series of interviews.
It has been reported by the Telegraph that RB Leipzig are ready to try and hijack United’s move for Ten Hag however if negotiations become delayed. But the 52-year-old is still widely expected to head to Old Trafford. And the same outlet claim that United’s talks with Ten Hag are advancing and that there may be big developments this week.
The Red Devils apparently hope that a deal could even be concluded within the next seven days. Ajax only want £1.7million in compensation to allow Ten Hag to leave for the Premier League 12 months before his contract in Amsterdam expires. But they are said to be keen for negotiations to be handled sensitively.
The Dutch giants are eager to ensure the timing of any United announcement does not impact their season. They have a KNVB Cup final against PSV Eindhoven to look forward to this Sunday, with the two teams split by just four points in the Eredivisie table with five games to go.
Ten Hag is seeking a third league title and a third domestic treble. He might already have had three league triumphs to his name if not for Covid which saw the Netherlands null and void their season in 2019-20 when Ajax were top on goal difference, though they had been knocked out of the cup in the semi-finals.
The report adds that the highly-regarded tactician outlined his terms to United recently. He is keen to have a big say in which players are signed and which players depart, with the Red Devils apparently happy to meet that request.
Ten Hag wants to also be promised that he will be given plenty of time to turn things around in Manchester and rebuild the squad in his image. Saturday’s defeat to Leicester makes it highly likely United will be without Champions League football for next season.
The result leaves United on 51 points and six points off of fourth-placed Tottenham, who could be joined on 57 points by Arsenal. The Gunners have a game in hand on both Spurs and United.
Despite Leipzig’s apparent interest in Ten Hag, which comes in spite of Domenico Tedesco’s joy at the Red Bull Arena, he is expected to become United’s new manager. Ten Hag was unhappy at being asked about a move to Old Trafford over the weekend however.
“Questions about the game or I am going inside,” he told NOS. “I will not tell you whether this is true or not. I am focused on the title race and the cup final. I have nothing else to say about it.” He also said on Saturday: “We are busy with training and with the matches. That way you keep the focus on it. I want to talk about the game and not about other things and whether or not I’ve had conversations. I won’t comment on rumours.”