Man Utd ‘interviewed Erik ten Hag’s former colleagues’ before offering job to Ajax boss

Erik Ten Hag In Profile

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Manchester United’s hierarchy spoke to a number of Erik ten Hag’s former employees before making the decision to appoint the 52-year-old as their next permanent manager, according to reports. Ten Hag’s impending arrival at Old Trafford was officially confirmed by the Red Devils on Thursday morning, with current interim boss Ralf Rangnick set to move into a two-year consultancy role at the end of the season.

United worked tirelessly for months to wrap up a deal with Ajax for the services of Ten Hag, who is widely considered as one of Europe’s most exciting coaches after impressing over the course of his time in charge of the Dutch giants. His eventual appointment was a decision that United chiefs did not take lightly after conducting background interviews with a handful of his former colleagues, according to the Daily Star.

It is claimed that United spoke to a number of people who have previously worked under Ten Hag in order to gain the best possible insight before deciding to offer him a contract at Old Trafford. Several high-profile club figures, including John Murtough and Darren Fletcher, were said to have travelled to the Netherlands earlier this year to hold talks with Ten Hag’s ex-players, staff, medical experts and physios.

Ten Hag was eventually chosen as United’s preferred candidate ahead of four other potential new managers, with the Dutchman beating the likes of PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique of Spain to the role. However, the Red Devils are said to be concerned that he may struggle to mix it with the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola during his time in the Premier League.

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A senior club source is quoted by the report as saying: “The club canvassed a lot of opinion on Ten Hag and are confident he will be successful. But the problem will be if Pep and Jurgen hang around at their clubs.

“Both are on the top of football’s Everest looking down on the rest and that won’t change soon. It just makes Ten Hag’s task so much harder.”

It remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will ultimately be able to restore United’s former glories when he arrives at Old Trafford ahead of next season. He is said to have shocked United chiefs during his interview by laying into the club’s scouting policy and questioning why they have nothing to show for their mega-money spending habits over the last decade.

Ten Hag is said to be looking to change the entire culture of the club during his time in charge and will reportedly be given plenty of money to spend on new players ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. His priority task in his first season at United will be to secure Champions League qualification without too much difficulty as he looks to get off on the right foot and win over the club’s supporters in his new role.

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