Erik Ten Hag has moved into ‘pole position’ for the Manchester United permanent job, following his impressive work at Ajax in recent years.
Manchester United are on the hunt for a long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – who was sacked last month following a dismal run of results – despite having only recently appointed Ralf Rangnick as interim coach.
While a strong showing between now and the end of the season could well see the German appointed permanently, the club’s intended plan is for the 63-year-old to step into a two-year consultancy role in the summer, with a new man appointed in his place as manager.
Recent weeks have seen the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers and Erik Ten Hag all linked with the job, albeit with most reports suggesting that it is the former Tottenham Hotspur boss who is currently the frontrunner.
According to the Mirror, however, Ajax boss Ten Hag is believed to have jumped into ‘pole position’ in the running for the role due to his standout performance for the Dutch giants.
The 51-year-old is on the radar of a number of Europe’s elite clubs having worked wonders at the Johan Cruyff Arena, notably guiding the Eredivisie outfit to the Champions League knockout stages after winning all six of their group games.
Ajax's combined results after 21 games this season 🤯 pic.twitter.com/BQLtRriil3
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 9, 2021
The Dutchman had previously put his name on the map after guiding the club to the semi-final’s of the competition in the 2018/19 season, having built a side centred around the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek and Frenkie de Jong.
Despite losing those key figures in quick succession – as well as Hakim Ziyech – Ten Hag has been able to effectively and impressively rebuild the squad, with Ajax also now in the running for a third successive league title.
He has also managed to get a tune out of a string of Premier League flops, namely West Ham United’s club-record signing Sebastian Haller who has netted 10 goals in his first six games in Europe so far this season.
Such work has seemingly caught the attention of the Old Trafford outfit, with United’s hopes of securing his services bolstered by his latest admission that he may be keen for a new challenge.