Erik ten Hag is said to have the ‘early edge’ in the race to become the next permanent Manchester United manager having ‘impressed’ in his interview.
The Ajax boss is believed to have had an interview about taking on the role at Old Trafford on Monday, though Manchester United are still keen to speak to other candidates, with Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique widely reported to be the leading names in the frame.
According to the Times, officials at Old Trafford were ‘impressed’ by what the 52-year-old had to say in his interview, expressing his intention to develop the playing style of the current crop of players into the ‘proactive, possession-based principles’ that have brought success back to the Johann Cryuff Arena.
The report goes on to say that Ten Hag currently has the ‘edge’ in the race, with the club feeling that the other candidates for the role ‘are more interested in trying to rebuild fortunes principally though transfers, rather than addressing the playing style’.
During his time in charge in Amsterdam, Ten Hag has won two Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups, as well as infamously steering his side to within a whisker of the Champions League final in the 2018/19 season.
This season, Ajax are currently two points clear of PSV at the top the Dutch top flight, though were eliminated from the round of 16 following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Benfica, having won every single game in the group stages.
Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel has also been linked to the role at Old Trafford following the sanctions imposed upon the West London club, and while he would ‘tick every box’, there is said to be a ‘growing acceptance’ among the Manchester United hierarchy that he would be ‘impossible’ to extract from Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United currently sit sixth in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more than Mikel Arteta’s side.