Erik ten Hag ‘excited’ about a different job than Man Utd as worrying details emerge

Erik ten Hag in profile as Man Utd 'open talks' with Ajax boss

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Erik ten Hag is excited about a different job to the one at Manchester United, it has been claimed. Reports over the past 24 hours have suggested the Ajax manager is the frontrunner to replace Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford this summer. However, any appointment is far from guaranteed with the Red Devils also having a list of alternatives behind the scenes.

Manchester United are preparing for the start of yet another era, having dismissed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the campaign despite giving him a new contract mere months previously.

The Red Devils have been linked with a host of managers ever since the Norwegian’s dismissal and the appointment of Rangnick on an interim basis.

But despite United admiring the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique, it’s Ten Hag who is now the leading candidate to take over at Old Trafford this summer.

The 52-year-old has fared well at Ajax over the past five years, helping to make them a force on both the domestic and European scene once again.

He’s already held talks with United about taking their job, with the Red Devils hoping to announce their new boss before the end of the current campaign so they can assist in planning for the summer and beyond.

Now, though, Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan has claimed United may struggle to land Ten Hag.

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And it’s stated that the Ajax boss is ‘excited’ about another job, though it isn’t specified which clubs are circling to hijack a potential move to the Premier League.

“There are three major opportunities for Erik ten Hag,” Van der Kraan told Sky Sports.

“Manchester United is only one of them.

“I don’t want to dampen the excitement in England but maybe United have not done all the work yet.

“Yes, they’ve had positive talks with Ten Hag but so have two other major clubs in Europe.

“These are clubs who play Champions League football and who have chances to win titles in their own country.

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“One of those clubs is very concrete for Ten Hag, and I think that is on mainland Europe – not in England.

“I know for a fact that Ten Hag is very excited about that job too.”

Real Madrid have also been linked with Ten Hag, particularly in the wake of their crushing 4-0 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti is currently the man in charge of the La Liga giants, having replaced Zinedine Zidane back in the summer.

However, while they’re on course to win the league title, history suggests that may not be enough to please trigger-happy club president Florentino Perez.

Only by guiding Los Blancos to Champions League glory can Ancelotti expect to see a second year in a row in Spain.

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If United do miss out on Ten Hag, then it’s possible they’ll swoop for one of the alternatives on their managerial shortlist.

Pochettino is the likeliest alternative, especially given PSG’s recent Champions League elimination at the hands of Madrid earlier in the month.

The likes of Lopetegui, Enrique, Roberto Mancini and Julian Nagelsmann are all dark horses for the role, too.

Meanwhile, Van Der Kraan had said earlier in the week that Ten Hag has the ability to handle big egos amid interest from United.

Should he move to the Red Devils, he’ll inherit superstars in the forms of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

Yet Van der Kraan is adamant he can handle the size of the task given his experience.

“He’s been in management for over 23 years and he’s got a couple of difficult lads at Ajax,” he said.

“But it’s nowhere near the Galactico.

“He’s not been the most brilliant kind of guy in front of a camera or speaking to his players, but his football brain is brilliant.”

He also suggested United had an advantage when it came to Ten Hag due to the presence of Rangnick, who is primed to become a consultant.

“Ten Hag recently explained that ideally he’d like a technical director to sit next to him on the bench even in matches and to be around him all the time, at the training ground, everywhere,” he stated.

“Ten Hag is a big fan of it and of course with Rangnick being there, you could almost see an ideal option for him.”

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