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Manchester United managerial target Erik ten Hag has insisted he’s happy at Ajax amid links with a move to Old Trafford. The Dutchman has done well in his role at Amsterdam. But it appears the Red Devils face a fight to bring him to the Premier League.
United have been linked with several managers amid their poor form under Solskjaer this season.
Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino seem to be frontrunners for the post, despite being contracted to Leicester and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.
Fresh links to Zinedine Zidane have arisen, with the Frenchman currently a free agent following his summer departure from Real Madrid.
And Ten Hag is another option, having worked wonders ever since taking over in Amsterdam back in December 2017.
He’s won two Eredivisie titles with Ajax in the time since, while also helping them to the last four of the Champions League in 2019.
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Yet Ten Hag has now explained his stance on leaving the Dutch giants, insisting he’s happy amid the links to United.
“I live in the present, so I find it hard to answer this,” he said.
“I always want to improve my team, and as long as I feel this motivation I want to keep going, if Ajax wants that too.”
And when quizzed about recent links to Newcastle, he said he wouldn’t join them because he was happy at his current club.
“Because I am happy at Ajax,” he said when asked why he didn’t leave.
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“I have a very good relationship with the board and I’m managing a very strong squad.”
Whether United choose to go after Ten Hag, amid their interest in Pochettino and Rodgers, remains to be seen.
But Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand has endorsed the potential appointment of the former Bayern Munich coach, feeling he’s earned a crack at a top job.
“For any manager coming in to a new club, it’s almost like you’ve got to show people why you’re there immediately,” Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel.
“I use Antonio Conte as a good reference point for that.
“Whenever he joins a new club, there is no negotiables and he tells them, ‘this is what’s happening, this is what I am, if you’re not with me you can go.’
“I think that’s the type of attitude and the type of mentality that separates the good managers from the top managers.
“You’ve got to be able to go in there and command a whole dressing room full of egos, personality, characters. That’s the job of anyone coming in.
“Now I don’t know Ten Hag personally but he’s doing a fantastic job at Ajax. Let’s remember that Ajax isn’t a small club.
“They’re a massive club, the biggest club in Holland.
“Yes, it’s different and the landscape is different but it’s still a huge club that he’s got to work with and the expectation levels there every day are to win.
“That’s something that will be there every day and would be there if he was to come to Manchester United.
“Anyone who comes in, they’ve got to be able to deal with people.
“That’s the art of a fantastic manager.
“You’ve obviously got to get it right tactically but motivating people on a daily basis to produce the goods is a huge part of it.”
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