Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag given blunt ‘no’ as Fred Rutten reveals why he felt ‘uncomfortable’ about Man Utd offer

Samuel Bannister
Erik ten Hag, Ajax boss in Dutch cup final loss to PSV Eindhoven

Fred Rutten has revealed that he has snubbed Erik ten Hag’s offer of becoming Manchester United assistant manager.

Ten Hag will be taking Manchester United into a new era from next season. He will leave Ajax in the summer before taking the reins from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford.

He has his work cut out for him, as he must revive a fallen giant. Several changes to the squad will be required.

But first of all, he must decide who he wants alongside him on the touchline. There have already been various coaches tipped to become part of his backroom staff.

Now, Rutten has revealed that he has been one of those approached over the chance to work with Ten Hag for Manchester United.

However, the 59-year-old – who has managed the likes of PSV, Twente and Feyenoord in his career – has explained why he felt ‘uncomfortable’ with the idea of joining Man Utd.

“Erik ten Hag has asked me to be his assistant at Manchester United. I said no,” Rutten told ESPN.

“Everyone makes his own choices in life. I have a family; I have grandchildren that I want to see. This type of project, I felt uncomfortable with it.”

Rutten – whose most recent coaching spell was a short stint with Anderlecht in 2019 – is instead ready to return to PSV as an assistant to former Man Utd striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who will be taking charge from next season.

Family reasons also important for Fred Rutten

From his perspective, Rutten will feel much more at home with the Eindhoven-based club.

He explained: “At Manchester United you get on a train and you can’t get off it. I want to feel comfortable in something you step into. That is the case with PSV.

“It’s nice when you have grandchildren, who you see every now and then and who can play ball with.”

Therefore, Rutten will not be upping sticks for Manchester this summer. Ten Hag will have to look elsewhere for the backroom staff members who will be supporting him.

Mitchell van der Gaag, his assistant at Ajax, has been tipped to follow him. There is also reportedly a desire for Steve McLaren to become part of his staff, although the club themselves are less keen on reuniting with Sir Alex Ferguson’s former number two.

All will become clear in time ahead of a significant summer for the red side of Manchester.

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