Erik ten Hag terminates contract, with key arrival now confirmed and surprise Man Utd reunion in the works

Incoming Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

The arrival date of Erik ten Hag at Man Utd has been revealed, while a trusted source has confirmed one backroom staff member has an agreement and another is a ‘work in progress’.

Ten Hag, 52, is the man Manchester United’s decision-makers have chosen to lead their rebuild. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick will move upstairs into a consultancy role despite recently taking the Austria national team job.

Ten Hag’s first order of business will be to revamp a squad that has frequently courted criticism this year.

Aiding his cause are the raft of free agents that will open up both places and salary in his squad.

Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba will all leave for nothing. Nemanja Matic will also be allowed to walk away for free.

The highest profile player Manchester United have been linked with thus far is Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. The latest on that transfer saga – including competition from Man City – can be found here.

But away from player arrivals, United must first put the right support structure around Ten Hag. And according to Fabrizio Romano, that’s exactly what they’re doing right now.

Firstly, the trusted transfer guru revealed the date of Ten Hag’s arrival.

Erik ten Hag terminates Ajax contract

The Dutchman will reportedly arrive in Manchester on Monday (May 16). United’s final match of the season is away to Crystal Palace next Sunday (May 22), and Ten Hag could well be in the stands for the contest.

Ten Hag’s early arrival has been made possible by the fact he has terminated his contract with Ajax six weeks early, per the Mirror. The newspaper reported he has officially left the Amsterdam club with immediate effect.

Joining him in the dugout will be Mitchell van der Gaag. Van der Gaag, 50, was Ten Hag’s No 2 at Ajax having held that position since June, 2021.

He has extensive managerial experience as a No 1 in both Portugal and the Netherlands. But according to Romano, he might not be the only new assistant coach in town.

The journalist added bringing Steve McClaren back to the Old Trafford coaching set-up is a ‘work in progress’.

McClaren was assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson between 1999-2001 and earned a strong reputation as an excellent coach.

That opened the door to multiple managerial posts in the following years, including with England.

However, many of McClaren’s spells in management were short-lived or are looked upon negatively in hindsight, most notably with England, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United.

Regardless, his coaching acumen remains held in high regard and United are reportedly working towards bringing him back on board.

Will Ten Hag succeed at Man Utd?

It is unquestionable Erik ten Hag has been a roaring success at Ajax. However, despite the Amsterdam club being a giant in the Netherlands, managing Manchester United is an entirely different proposition.

The list of problems he must solve is a lengthy one, including revamping a squad that has been characterised by a lack of quality, effort and character.

Yet United feel like they’re at the point of no return and will surely back Ten Hag to the hilt. He will bring with him a clear philosophy and if backed, will be given time to implement it while weeding out those who can’t – or won’t – adapt.

Overhauling the likes of Man City and Liverpool on the domestic scene will be a long-term project. But securing a place back in the Champions League can and should be an achievable aim in season one.

Finishing fourth a year from now would be a step in the right direction, though whether he can return United to the top seat of English football, only time will tell.