Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag has responded to talk linking him with the Manchester United job.
It had been reported by The Times among other outlets than Ten Hag would be high on United’s list of replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if the Norwegian is fired.
Ten Hag has now played down the prospects of leaving Ajax.
In an interview with ESPN Netherlands, Ten Hag said: “‘I live in the present, so I find it hard to answer this.
“I always want to improve my team, and as long as I feel this motivation I want to keep going, if Ajax wants that too.”
Ten Hag has no plans to leave mid-season
Ten Hag’s comments effectively rule himself out of a mid-season move away from Ajax.
It felt like we knew this already, given how well Ajax’s season is going.
Ajax sit top of the Eredivisie and top of their Champions League group with four wins from four games.
Leaving now would be premature, and if United cannot wait until May to sack Solskjaer, then the club have to look at another option, either an interim boss, or a permanent manager ready to come in right away.
Even if United waited, there is no guarantee Ten Hag would come next summer.
One way to try and change his mind is for United to offer Ajax a large compensation package for Ten Hag.
If Ajax are swayed into accepting this, he could choose to accept that moving on is in the best interests of the club, and see that their commitment to him is not as strong as he thinks.
It’s a long shot, but if United believe Ten Hag is the man, it is still worth reaching out to Ajax to discuss.
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