Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has signed a new contract at the Dutch club in a blow to Tottenham in their hunt for a new manager.
Reports had claimed that the 51-year-old had become a key target for Spurs in replacing Jose Mourinho. Ryan Mason has taken the reins until the end of the season, but the battle is on to find an experienced candidate. While Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers will prove a tough man to prise away, Ten Hag previously had only a year left on his deal.
Indeed, the Eredivisie giants announced on Friday morning that their boss has extended his contract until 2023.
The Dutchman told the club’s website: “We want to work on a successful and attractive Ajax.
“I know what I have here and I know the people I work with here. I also know how we can take the next step with this team. I’m happy here.”
Ten Hag moved to Ajax in December 2017 and has enjoyed lots of success since.
He led his team to the Eredivisie title in the 2018/19 and they were in a strong position to win it again last season.
However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Dutch authorities to abandon the season.
Ten Hag has also won the Dutch cup and the Dutch Super Cup.
In Europe, meanwhile, he took Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19, famously deposing of Real Madrid. This season, his team reached the Europa League quarter-finals.
Ten Hag has Ajax back on map
“Getting somewhere is one thing, staying somewhere is another. Ajax is back on the map internationally,” he added.
“We get the recognition we deserve for that, but we want even more.
“We want to go even higher and challenge the top clubs in Europe.”
Director of football Marc Overmars said that Ten Hag had attracted “serious offers from teams abroad”.
He added: “But I think it is very important for Erik that he sees what is possible with the team and that there is still room for growth.
“The fact that his name is on many club’s most wanted lists means, according to Ten Hag, that Ajax is doing well.
“You can see then that the players are getting the attention, but also coaches. Our success has earned us credit not only in the Netherlands, but also abroad.”
Back at Tottenham, Ryan Mason has taken the reins until the end of the season.
Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo is another name being touted as the potential new boss.