Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to block key man’s exit after confirmed sacking, as ‘desperate’ Ten Hag digs his heels in

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

The sacking of Ajax boss Maurice Steijn has produced a vacancy the Dutch club hope will be filled by a Manchester United man, though why an exit is ‘unlikely’ has been revealed by a report.

Ajax are accustomed to vying with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord atop the Eredivisie table. However, one look at the current standings will produce a sharp intake of breath.

Ajax currently lay in 17th position out of 18 having endured a truly torrid start to the season. Having won just two of 11 contests, manager Maurice Steijn – who was only appointed on June 14 – was relieved of his duties by Ajax on Monday night.

Former Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal took up an advisory role with Ajax earlier in October. His mission was to guide the club out of their mini-crisis and now it appears his remit will extend to helping to hire a new manager.

Former Dutch midfielder Hedwiges Maduro has taken charge in a caretaker capacity for the time being. However, one figure Ajax are known to be keen on luring back to Amsterdam is Mitchell Van der Gaag.

The 52-year-old is one of Erik ten Hag’s two assistant coaches at Old Trafford, with the other being Steve McClaren.

Van der Gaag has worked alongside Ten Hag dating back to their Ajax days, but according to Dutch outlet soccernews, he would be open to leaving United for the top job at Ajax.

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Van der Gaag to stay put?

That would be a bitter pill to swallow for Ten Hag and United who themselves aren’t enjoying the best of starts to the season.

However, according to a fresh update from the Daily Mail, Van der Gaag won’t be going anywhere.

Firstly, the Mail state any Ajax approach for Van der Gaag is ‘likely to fail’. Explaining why, it’s claimed Ten Hag is ‘desperate’ to keep Van der Gaag who he considers a ‘key part’ of his backroom team.

Man Utd seemingly see the situation the same way, with the Mail then adding any exit will hinge on Van der Gaag ‘pushing to leave’. But again, that scenario is deemed ‘unlikely’ by the report.

As such, Van Gaal and Ajax look set to be denied in this instance.

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