PIF ready to execute plan B after major manager fear sparks Newcastle setback

Erik Ten Hag Ajax v Utrecht April 2021

Newcastle’s owners reportedly have a plan in mind to convince manager target Erik ten Hag to leave Ajax, amid his major fear about the job.

The Magpies have still not found their long-term successor to Steve Bruce, who got the sack earlier this month. The Magpies’ Saudi-led consortium of owners want a manager who can keep them in the Premier League, before building from there.

Former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca looked to be the leading candidate at one stage.

However, ex-Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is also reportedly on Newcastle’s radar. Now, though, Ten Hag has not gone away as a consideration.

Still, the Sunday Mirror reports that Newcastle will have to do something spectacular to convince him to leave Ajax.

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea kept the Magpies firmly in the relegation zone. It also compounded Ten Hag’s concerns over the club’s battle to stay in the Premier League.

A source told the newspaper: “Will it be Champions League or Championship? That is the ­question that bothers Ten Hag.

“Right now he is top of the group with Ajax in the Champions League and he can be sure of taking them into the knockout stages in 2022.”

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Nevertheless, the newspaper adds that Newcastle’s new owners believe swooping for Ajax director of football Marc Overmars could turn the tables in their favour.

Overmars and Ten Hag have worked together for some time and subsequently have a strong relationship. Indeed, Overmars handed Ten Hag his first managerial role at Go Ahead Eagles.

They then moved to Ajax, where they have won two league and cup doubles. Ajax also reached the Champions League semi-finals in the 2018/19 season.

Newcastle eyeing Overmars deal

Marc Overmars in discussion with Erik Ten Hag

Newcastle, 80 per cent of which is owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), are looking at a sporting director as a key role in their revolution.

According to one reporter in the Netherlands, Overmars is likely to move to Newcastle if he gets the chance.

De Telegraaf‘s Valentijn Driessen said: “Overmars will go, I think. If he gets the chance, he goes. It doesn’t have to take very long.

“Overmars has to start in January or February, because he has to put together the selection for the new season. And his successor has to do that for Ajax.

“If we want to have someone in the Netherlands, you only talk to the person you want. But in England it is something different, they talk to a number of candidates. And Marc is one of them.”

Newcastle’s loss to Chelsea left them 19th in the Premier League, three points away from safety.

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