Ten Hag says 'Manchester United is a great club' and hopes people understand if he leaves Ajax
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has given an interview to Sport1 in Germany about his season at Ajax and his future.
The Dutchman has been strongly linked with taking the Manchester United job at the end of the current season.
The Telegraph has reported he is the current favourite for the role after undergoing an interview this week.
Ten Hag was coy on his future, and said that right now, his focus is on ending the season strongly with Ajax and that is where he needs his energy. He also says he has a responsibility to help Ajax plan for next season too.
Ten Hag said: “Everyone knows each other in the industry. There are always talks with representatives from other clubs, that’s normal. Manchester United is a great club with great fans. But I can only repeat myself: My full focus is completely on Ajax! We are already planning for the new season.
“I’ve sat down with Ajax after every season so far. That will also be the case this time. I can say that Ajax and Erik ten Hag are very happy with each other at the moment.”
Open to United
While Ten Hag is considering staying, he is also considering leaving. He said he does not want to rule anything out, and this was shown last season when he spoke to Tottenham, The Mail reported.
He also says he hopes ‘people will understand’ if he chooses to move on, referring the the Ajax fanbase and Dutch media.
Ten Hag said: “My focus is currently only on Ajax. But in football you never know. I don’t want to rule anything out. I’m currently employed here at Ajax to perform.
“With the cup final against Eindhoven, we still have eight finals left, and I need all my energy for that. Anything else would just be a distraction. I know that in football everything can change from one day to the next. If at some point I should decide to take the next step, I hope that people here will understand.”
The Ajax boss was keen to stress he is very happy at the Dutch club and enjoys his day to day work with the Eredivisie side, where he is hoping to win his third title this season.
He said: “I love being here at Ajax. I work with very good players that we can develop further. If they implement the match plan, I’ll be happy. My players are very clever. It’s just fun to work with them.”
A further insight was given into his mindset with the advice he says he gives to his players regarding transfer rumours. He accepts they will want bigger challenges than Ajax, but asks they give it their all while they are with the club, and this it seems he is applying to his own situation.
Ten Hag said: “The boys know what they are playing for. But logically, if you are ambitious, you would of course want to take the next step in the Bundesliga, Premier League or La Liga at some point. I always tell the guys to take care of it after the season. Until then, Ajax will have full attention.”
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