Erik ten Hag gives frosty response when asked about becoming Man Utd manager

The Dutchman is reportedly set to takeover as the next Manchester United boss on a permanent basis but he was less than happy when the subject was brought up ahead of Ajax’s game on Saturday

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Man Utd ‘close in’ on deal for ten Hag as new manager

Erik ten Hag gave a frosty response when asked about reports that he is set to be appointed as the next Manchester United boss.

Ajax boss ten Hag, 52, met with United bosses last month to talk about becoming their new manager and is now set to take the job on a permanent basis, with a new-look United set to take shape for next season.

This week saw a fresh wave of speculation that an agreement is in place for United to appoint the Dutchman at the end of the campaign, with Mirror Football understanding that ten Hag will be the permanent appointment at Old Trafford. Yet when asked about those reports ahead of Ajax’s Eredivisie clash against Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday, the boss was swiftly irritated by the line of questioning.

When asked by the reporter prior to the Ajax match about how ten Hag’s conversations with United went, the boss simply responded: “I want to talk about the game.” The reporter then began to say that he would then begin to focus on the match at hand, but ten Hag cut across him to clarify: “I am not reacting to rumours.”

It was at this juncture that the interviewer then interjected: “But they (the rumours) are getting strong.” Ten Hag, who by this point in the conversation was notably irritated by the topic, added: “Questions about the game or I am going inside.” This was, unsurprisingly, the end of any attempts to draw ten Hag any further on the reports.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino had also been in the frame for the post. Pochettino had initially been the favourite for the United job, as reported in February. Mirror Football later revealed that the Argentine was the preferred candidate among the players in United’s dressing room. Pochettino had also met with United officials, following on from the club’s talks with ten Hag – but the club appear to have settled on the Dutchman.

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Ten Hag was not happy with the questions about the Man Utd job on Saturday

One factor in that decision is that the compensation package required for ten Hag with Ajax is thought to be a relatively paltry £1.7million, with the strong relations between the two clubs said to help pave the way for an amicable arrangement. Paris Saint-Germain were holding out for a £15million compensation package for ex-Tottenham boss Pochettino.

Ten Hag will have a huge job on his hands at Old Trafford as he will inherit a side who have spent the 2021/22 campaign in freefall. Multiple players are out of contract at the club this summer including Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard. Multiple other players will be allowed to leave if suitable offers come in – with ten Hag likely to be given a say in the club’s recruitment process this summer.

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