Erik ten Hag ‘ready to accept Man Utd job’ as Ralf Rangnick backs Dutchman to replace him

Rangnick on next permanent manager

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Erik ten Hag is ready to become Manchester United’s next manager and Ralf Rangnick is backing the Dutchman as his replacement in the dugout, according to reports. Ten Hag has built a reputation as one of Europe’s best tactical thinkers in his four years with Ajax, whom he has led to two Eredivisie titles.

The Dutch giants are on course to win the league again this term and were only denied another triumph in 2019-20 by coronavirus, which saw the season declared null and void. Nonetheless Ten Hag has won two domestic doubles in his two other full campaigns with the capital club.

Ajax have also had great Champions League success under the Netherlands native having been moments away from the final in the 2018-19 campaign while they are expected to reach the quarter-finals this season.

And the 52-year-old’s success at the Johan Cruyff Arena has seen him sounded out as a candidate to become United’s next permanent manager.

Rangnick has taken temporary charge since November after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked but he will step into a two-year consultancy role at the end of the season.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham boss who oversaw a dramatic comeback over Ten Hag’s Ajax in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals, is another candidate.

But the Daily Mirror say that there is stronger support for Ten Hag with many of those inside United’s hierarchy confident he can revive the club’s fortunes.

Pochettino’s standing has been hurt by PSG’s collapse at Real Madrid this week.

And the Mirror add that Ten Hag is willing to step away from his Ajax comfort zone to test himself out at Old Trafford next season.

His ability, and willingness, to work with a sporting director is welcomed at United given he worked so well with Marc Overmars at Ajax.

And Rangnick, who will take up an advisory role once his period as interim boss ends, is said to be among those keen to see Ten Hag get the job.

The German has witnessed first-hand the problems undermining United this season, with the Red Devils 22 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Their rivals took them apart in a convincing 4-1 derby defeat at the Etihad a week ago and in a season in which they were expected to contend for the title, United have won just 13 of 28 league games.

Five of those have come under Rangnick who has stopped the rot but he has identified several issues in the dressing room which will need rectifying.

And if the club’s board follow his recommendations, it will be Ten Hag with whom Rangnick is working next season to get United back to the top of the Premier League.

Rangnick recently said of United’s managerial search: “So far, we’ve not spoken about that. Not with John Murtough or anyone else, we’ve not spoken about this topic over the last weeks and months since I’ve been here.

“I know my opinion but so far we’ve not spoken about that so it’s all I can tell you.”

On Ten Hag he added: “I don’t know him to start with as a person, but I’ve seen how Ajax have developed since he’s been there.

“I know about the work he did while he was at Bayern Munich and it’s obvious he’s one of the top coaches in Europe but there are a few others.

“We’ve not spoken about any new manager so far and therefore we’ve not spoken about him.”

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