Erik ten Hag eviscerated the Man Utd set-up over the course of two interviews for the manager’s position.
Ten Hag is expected to be named the permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in due course, replacing Ralf Rangnick after the interim head coach’s struggles to turn the club around.
Man Utd are 7th in the Premier League and in danger of not even qualifying for European competition next season, giving Ten Hag plenty of ammunition in talks with the hierarchy.
Ten Hag can fix Manchester United – but only if they let him
The Dutchman is said to have used it to make scathing points about the club’s failed recruitment and haphazard scouting in particular.
Ten Hag gave a ‘brutal assessment’ of Manchester United’s shortcomings in an initial interview last month with technical director Darren Fletcher and football director John Murtough.
The pair visited the Ajax manager in Amsterdam and were given what The Sun exclusively describe as ‘a no-holds-barred dressing down’, after which they returned to Manchester ‘in complete shock’.
In a second round of talks with chief executive Richard Arnold, Ten Hag then “ripped the United set-up apart,” according to an unnamed source, who added: “It was like United were being interviewed by Ten Hag rather than the other way round.”
Club officials are said to have needed ‘a few days to digest’ the criticism before deciding that instead of being ‘put out’, his ‘frank assessment and vision’ had ‘impressed’ them.
It was reported earlier this week that Man Utd had reached a verbal agreement in principle to appoint Ten Hag this summer, with written contracts expected to be finalised and signed at some point after Sunday’s Dutch Cup final.
Ajax and Ten Hag are understandably reluctant for the Eredivisie club’s season to be impacted too heavily by any announcement, considering they lead the league table by four points and can secure the first leg of what would be a third double of the 52-year-old’s five-year reign by beating bitter rivals PSV at the weekend.
Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly already been told he can leave Old Trafford at the end of the season as he does not fit into Ten Hag’s plans for the future. Numerous other players could also go, with Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant all in the final months of their current deals.