Ten Hag concerned major Man Utd cracks will be exposed, as Ajax differences leave serious doubts

Erik ten Hag Ajax manager, January 2022

Erik ten Hag has reportedly noticed a major disparity between how Ajax chiefs run the club compared to their Manchester United counterparts.

The Dutchman has emerged as one of the leading manager candidates to take over in the Old Trafford dugout. Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino is also a frontrunner. Nevertheless, Man Utd have stepped up the chase for Ten Hag first.

Indeed, the 52-year-old had his first formal interview with his prospective new club on Monday.

However, three concerns reportedly emerged from United’s end after the talks. Chief among them was the fear that Ten Hag may not be able to handle the pressure of the United job – especially in its current guise.

There is big pressure at Old Trafford to finally get the club back to the top of English football. What’s more, there is the matter of another crucial summer transfer window to navigate first.

According to Dutch outlet AD, though, Ten Hag similarly has his own concerns about moving to Manchester.

The manager is ‘picky’ about his career and feels the conditions at a club need to be perfect for him to succeed.

Relationships with club chiefs over transfers is a major part of that. Ten Hag built a strong rapport with his superiors, which has helped him keep Ajax progressing.

Erik ten Hag and Manchester United hold talks about manager position

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has met with Manchester United and had positive talks about becoming the new Man United manager

Ten Hag initially reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019. Since then, he has lost the likes of Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech and Matthijs de Ligt, but still rebuilt and enjoyed more success.

At Man Utd, though, the manager has noticed that the hierarchy ‘has been lost for years’. As such, he has concerns as to whether he would be able to replicate his Ajax success with the Red Devils.

Nevertheless, Ten Hag is in a privileged position as Ajax would be more than happy for him to stay. He could yet extend his current contract, which runs out in 2023.

However, a number of other clubs have come forward with interest in snapping his coaching skills up.

Man Utd have more Ten Hag concerns

Erik Ten Hag, Ajax coach, speaking after the Europa League match against Lille

From Man Utd’s end, the fear about Ten Hag’s ability to handle the pressure at the club is not their only concern.

There is the fact that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy passed on appointing the manager last summer. Levy eventually opted for Nuno Espirito Santo as Jose Mourinho’s successor.

And while Spurs are facing their own challenges as a club, United have made a note that a top-four rival has also interviewed Ten Hag and avoided giving him the job.

Furthermore, the Red Devils are unsure if Ten Hag can truly lift the club back to the summit of English football.

He has won two Eredivisie titles with Ajax. However, battling Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League crown will prove much harder.