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Manchester United close in on Erik ten Hag appointment with only contract signing and Ajax agreement required

Manchester United’s appointment of Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager is all but done with only a signing of the contract and straightforward agreement with Ajax remaining to complete the process.

The deal is expected to be on an initial three-year basis, with the club having the option to enforce an additional 12 months.

Sky Sports News reported on March 31 that Ten Hag was in pole position to land the job over Mauricio Pochettino, with sources close to the manager and Ajax revealing compensation – understood to be below £2m – and how to handle an announcement had already been discussed at this point.

United want to be sensitive to the Dutch side’s showdown against PSV Eindhoven in the KNVB Cup final on April 17 and the fact they are in a tight title race.

Ajax do not want the speculation to drag on, however, as it is still proving to be a distraction. They have batted away requests from English journalists and have not been issuing access to press conferences to prevent questions on the manager’s future.

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Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill spoke with Ajax fans about the rumours their manager Erik ten Hag is set to take over at Manchester United.

United maintain that a deal is not done, but Sky Sports News ascertained last week that only the formalities were outstanding with all the major details agreed in principle.

The make-up of Ten Hag’s coaching staff at Old Trafford still needs to be set in concrete, but neither party has concerns over that process.

Ajax have been helpful rather than a hindrance in getting an agreement over the line, with the club invested in not blocking the advancement of their managers and players.

Analysis: Man Utd exposure like nothing Ten Hag will have experienced

Sky Sports News’ senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

“Manchester United’s interest in Erik ten Hag will come as no surprise given his status as one of the most progressive coaches in Europe, and his long links to their managerial vacancy.

“The 52-year-old has had admirers at Old Trafford stretching back to 2018/19, when his Ajax side knocked out Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, before then stunning Juventus and only being denied a place in the final after Lucas Moura’s last-minute goal for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.

“Ten Hag is a popular choice to take charge at Old Trafford and represents what is seen as a “fresh, exciting future”, although there is an acceptance risk involved as it would be a sizeable leap for him.

“The last highly-successful Ajax coach to move to England’s top flight – via Inter – was Frank de Boer, who lasted just 77 days at Crystal Palace.

“The expectations, global glare placed on United, and level of competition at the top end of the Premier League is like nothing he would have previously experienced.”

Neville: Man Utd fans prefer Ten Hag

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Speaking on The Overlap, Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher discuss the suitability of Erik Ten Hag as Manchester United manager.

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

“Ten Hag worked in Bayern Munich when Pep Guardiola was there. We know the impact that had. He’s won a couple of titles and cups in Holland. His style of play is good. He’s got more experience than I think most people think at the age of 52.

“It’s a massive jump but he’s got a good coaching pedigree. He’s not scarred and that’s a good thing – he comes in fresh. I did a poll the other week and I was absolutely stunned – 240,000 people voted and 82 per cent were in favour of bringing him in over (Mauricio) Pochettino.

“I knew that he would be favourite because you can smell it on social media. I think Manchester United fans are demanding a fresh start and a fresh name. They want something that’s completely different that they’ve not had before, and that’s probably gone against Pochettino in some ways.”

The making of Erik ten Hag

Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:

“Erik ten Hag will go to Manchester United as an outsider tasked with implementing cultural change at one of the world’s most famous clubs. But that is a job that he has done before.

“At Ajax, they mocked his accent. He was a Tukker – a man from the east of the country, a region known for a down-to-earth approach. There were those in sophisticated Amsterdam who did not believe the great Ajax had anything to learn from him. They were wrong.

“Two domestic doubles and one kick away from a Champions League final later and there is an acceptance Ten Hag has brought some of the best football that Ajax has seen in years. His methods have delivered success, his manner has won over the doubters.”

Ten Hag’s coaching journey from Twente to Ajax via Go Ahead Eagles explained in-depth by those who were there from the start…

What must Ten Hag solve at Man Utd?

Erik ten Hag must waste no timing in tackling the pressing issues at Manchester United.

Ralf Rangnick believes United could have a rebuild within 18 months and with the club having now almost finalised the appointment of their new manager, Sky Sports takes a look at some of the key problem areas he must rectify…

What challenges await Erik Ten Hag at Old Trafford?
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What challenges await Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford?

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