Erik ten Hag in profile as Man Utd 'open talks' with Ajax boss
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Manchester United legend Edwin van der Sar gave the green light for Erik ten Hag to be interviewed, according to reports. The Red Devils are currently weighing up their managerial options. And it’s the current Ajax manager who is leading the charge to take over.
Manchester United are hoping to confirm their new boss by the end of the season so they can assist in planning for next term.
The Red Devils have endured a chastening campaign so far and know they need to change things, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick both toiling.
United are interested in Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique as they explore their options at the current moment in time.
But it’s Ten Hag who is now the frontrunner for the post after it emerged late on Tuesday night that he’d held talks with the club’s hierarchy.
Now, Sky Sports claim Van der Sar gave the green light for Ten Hag to be interviewed by the Red Devils.
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And that bodes well, with Ajax seemingly open to losing the 52-year-old at the end of the current campaign.
Van der Sar has good links with United, having previously spent six years there during his playing days.
He arrived in 2005 to replace Tim Howard as No 1 and helped them win the EFL Cup during his first season.
Van der Sar would later go on to win four league titles, as well as the Champions League in 2008 where he saved from Nicolas Anelka in a dramatic penalty shootout win over Chelsea.
And his involvement suggests United may have a straightforward route to Ten Hag, who has also been linked with Real Madrid.
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United will have to pay around £4million if they’re to bring the former Bayern Munich coach in, a relatively low amount for a club of their size and structure.
And, if he does get the job, he’ll try to implement his own attacking style on the team.
United have seen David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all come and go in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
So they’ll be hoping Ten Hag can succeed where his predecessors have failed.
Meanwhile, former England winger Stewart Downing feels United should have got Antonio Conte when he was available.
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The Italian was on the market until earlier in the season, when Tottenham snapped him up.
And Downing thinks United missed a trick by failing to even move for Conte, who is now hopeful of guiding Spurs to Champions League qualification.
“Recruitment is massive for United this summer, but I don’t think the manager situation helps,” Downing said.
“I know a lot of people say he was the only man available, but this is Manchester United we’re talking about.
“Antonio Conte was available at one point, why didn’t they go and get him? What about Mauricio Pochettino?
“You’re Manchester United; go and get the best man, not the only man.
“The whole thing just hasn’t been handled very well, I don’t think.”
United are next in action against Leicester on April 2 (5.30pm).
And they’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of the 4-2 defeat they experienced at the King Power Stadium earlier in the campaign.
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