Manchester United are reportedly on the verge of finally confirming Erik Ten Hag as their new manager after widespread reports claimed they have now reached a verbal agreement with the Dutchman.
United have been deliberating their new manager for some time now. In what will be one of the most important managerial appointments in their history, it seems the Dutchman has finally been chosen as the new man to take the helm. He is set to become the fifth permanent manager at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
However, the path to appointing the Dutchman has been far from smooth. Having first interviewed him during the most recent international break, reports outlined a number of reservations United had over his prospective appointment.
That led to suggestions that long-standing frontrunner Mauricio Pochettino could get the job after all.
Furthermore, over the weekend, it appeared United’s hopes of landing Ten Hag were on the wane. That’s after reports in De Telegraaf stated Ten Hag was also in receipt of a rival offer, from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
But, having seemingly decided he’s the best candidate to take the club forward, multiple reports now claim an agreement has been reached.
The claims are led by The Athletic’s David Ornstein, who states Ten Hag has agreed an initial three-year deal at Old Trafford. That agreement will also give the Red Devils the chance to extend that deal by an initial 12 months.
In the coming days, Ten Hag will reportedly formalise his coaching staff, with former United coach Steve McClaren seemingly likely to play a part.
Furthermore, Ten Hag will become the highest paid Dutch manager in the history of the Premier League.
His salary is likely to match that of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who earned £7.8m a year, or £160,000 a week. That’s also some distance clear of the current £63,000 a week package he earns at Ajax.
The Athletic, however, states that the official announcement to confirm Ten Hag will be delayed until after the Dutch cup final. Ajax, who are also closing in on the Eredivisie title, face PSV Eindhoven on April 17.
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Indeed, securing the Double will be a fitting way for Ten Hag to bring a close to his Ajax reign.
Once his appointment is confirmed, he is expected to begin work officially from July 1. However, work will begin almost immediately behind the scenes with plenty to ponder on the Manchester United playing squad.
Gary Neville weighs in on Ten Hag wait
United’s lengthy pursuit of Ten Hag had the alarm bells ringing earlier this week for Gary Neville.
He speculated that a number of influences may have gotten in his ear and tried putting him off the job.
“It all feels like it’s eggs in one basket with ten Hag,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “If they can’t get him over the line, what a position for Manchester United to be in.
“And if you’re Ralf Rangnick reporting in to ten Hag and answering him honestly, which I suspect he will be, and if you’re [Donny] van de Beek answering him honestly, which I suspect he will be, and we know Edwin van der Sar is over there [at Ajax] who will be speaking to ten Hag honestly.
“They’ll be saying, ‘be very careful, be very careful about going to Manchester United’. It can be a graveyard at this moment in time for reputations.
“Ralf Rangnick came in with an incredible reputation. He still has that reputation, but he’s now starting to be wounded by what’s happening around him.
“He looks weaker and more vulnerable on the touchline. That’s because of the performances of the players are nothing to do with him.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a good man, those players liked him, and they turned him over!
“So it’s a really difficult position for the club to be at. I feel at this moment, like most Manchester United fans, I don’t know where to turn next. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
News of Ten Hag’s agreement though will surely be music to United’s supporters’ ears.
And it seems his appointment won’t even hit United hard in the pocket with the Red Devils only requiring a lowly compensation fee.