Van der Vaart says Ten Hag would have gone to Manchester United 'by bicycle' even if club did not approve transfer say

Erik ten Hag has a ‘verbal agreement’ with Manchester United. The Athletic broke the news last night, to provide extra clarity to United’s managerial search.

The Telegraph report the deal is ’99 per cent’ complete, with an announcement expected next week.

In recent days, reports had claimed Ten Hag was waiting to get the sign-off from United over transfer policy.

Fabrizio Romano claims Ten Hag is now ‘satisfied’ with all aspects of United’s project. Former Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart believes even if he wasn’t, he would have raced to take the job anyway.

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A club you can’t turn down

Former Ajax and Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart believes Manchester United are a club you can’t turn down or keep waiting.

He told Voetball Primeur: “You read the reports that he kept Manchester United waiting, but that really won’t keep you waiting. With all due respect to Ten Hag… If you receive such an offer, you should not think about it, but go.

“You have to stay a little humble. He is a great coach, he did a great job at Ajax. But Manchester United or the big clubs, don’t let that wait.

“Whether you are allowed to help determine the transfers, that does not interest you at all. He will absolutely have asked. But if United had said: that is not allowed… Then he would have gone there by bicycle.”

He added that this could be a good time for Ten Hag to head to United, commenting: “It is a great team, but they just play very badly. It is not always the coach’s fault. You can say: Ten Hag is not the big name in England. But maybe that is an advantage.”

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United have of course tried big names, like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, and that hasn’t worked. Ten Hag is a little different, hiring a coach on the rise, one whose better days are not behind him.

Van der Vaart’s point is an interesting one, but it seems we will never know, as the manager is reportedly satisfied United will run operations in a way which suits him.

A joined-up approach is good news for United. With Ed Woodward finally gone, new CEO Richard Arnold is expected to take a backseat on football issues, leaving John Murtough, consultant Ralf Rangnick, and Erik ten Hag, to run affairs.

Ten Hag’s decision to join United is an example of the club’s pull, despite the club’s terrible season. The Dutchman is hopefully going to become the man to put United back on track, and win trophies again. It won’t be easy, nor will it be quick – but for the first time in months, it feels like the club have a direction once again.

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