Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Men’s First Team Manager, subject to work visa requirements, from the end of this season until June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year.
“I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.
“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”
Mitchell van der Gaag, Ten Hag’s assistant at Ajax, is likely to join him at Old Trafford with advanced negotiations already under way.
Edwin van der Sar, Ajax’s chief executive and a former United goalkeeper, said, “we would have liked to have kept Erik for longer”, but added, “he is going to make the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world”.
Ten Hag told Ajax’s website: “I’m happy that it has been finalised and that it has been officially announced. That clarity is important.”
John Murtough, United’s football director, said: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.
“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.
“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”
Ten Hag was understood to be the unanimous choice at United following a rigorous recruitment process that was led by Murtough and Darren Fletcher, the technical director.
Richard Arnold, the executive vice-chairman, was also involved and the trio are understood to have agreed Ten Hag was the best candidate for the job.
Mauricio Pochettino, the Paris Saint-Germain manager who previously coached Tottenham and Southampton, and Julen Lopetegui, the Sevilla boss, were also interviewed by United, but the club are believed to have felt the Dutchman was the one that most closely aligned with their plans for the future.
Ten Hag is said to have set out his long-term vision to build a successful and exciting team during conversations with United, in which he is also said to have shown enthusiasm for the challenge he now faces at Old Trafford.
Sky Sports News understands Ten Hag will tell United players he does not want any passengers at the club.
His key message to them will be that he is the manager, there is a new regime and United are going to go back to playing like Manchester United.
If there are any players who are not up for the challenge, they are welcome to leave, but everyone will start with a clean slate. He has not been given any specific targets, but he knows his job is to make United great again.
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Ten Hag also wants Steve McClaren to return to United and talks about making that happen are ongoing.
The good relationship between United and Ajax helped smooth the process to appoint Ten Hag. It is believed potential negotiations with PSG, had United opted for Pochettino, would have proved more problematic.
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