Erik ten Hag has hinted that he would be prepared to become the next permanent Manchester United manager as he is now ready for a ‘challenge’.
United have Ralf Rangnick in temporary charge and the German will helm the club until the end of the season. The 63-year-old replaced the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but his future is unknown. There are reports that the former RB Leipzig chief may be kept on in a permanent role if he does deliver the goods.
The former FC Twente centre-back has been in charge of the Amsterdam outfit since December 2017. And he has won two Eredivisie titles and a couple of KNVB Cups with De Godenzonen.
He also guided them to the semi-finals of the 2018-2019 Champions League. The former Utrecht manager’s stock is certainly on the rise and he was one of the names mentioned in connection with the Red Devils.
A report last month suggested he was unwilling to leave his current club mid season. But he feels the time may be right and his experience sufficient for a move overseas.
“I think I’m ready for it [to move to a top foreign club]. I would be happy to take up that challenge,” he told de Volkskrant, per The Mirror. “But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.
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“But I think I have sufficient competences to take on that challenge.”
Ten Hag to bring winning mentality
While the Netherlands top flight is not the same standard as the Premier League, Ten Hag has an impressive record. He managed a 50 per cent win rate while in charge of Utrecht.
And that has jumped to more than 73 per cent during his time with Ajax. They are currently two points clear at the top of the Dutch top-flight standings, having lost just once this term.
He has also guided them to the last-16 of the Champions League, with five wins from as many group games. But it is Ten Hag’s ability to rebuild a side that is most impressive.
He has lost several key players in recent times but still managed to fashion a competitive squad. It would be a different challenge at the Theatre of Dreams, with top players arriving instead of leaving.
But he has shown an ability to cope with most things during his time in the dugout.