Ajax ‘believe’ Erik ten Hag has already decided his future amid Man United links

Ajax are reportedly resigned to the fact that Erik ten Hag will leave the club at the end of the season.

Ten Hag is one of the frontrunners for the Manchester United job and is already preparing to leave the Dutch club in the summer.

United are on the lookout for a new manager, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick standing down to move into a consultancy role at the end of the season.

Ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino are understood to be the favourites for the job, with United having already begun their recruitment process.

The 52-year-old Dutchman is taking English lessons in a bid to improve his chances of landing the Old Trafford gig.

And according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Ajax’s hierarchy believe Ten Hag has already made up his mind to leave the club in the summer.

The departure of sporting director Marc Overmars, due to a sexting scandal, has only hastened Ten Hag’s exit from Ajax.

Ten Hag was in contention for the Tottenham job last summer, only for the club to eventually appoint Nuno Espirito Santo, but he remains set on a Premier League switch.

He has won two league and cup doubles with Ajax and is ready for another challenge.

While Pochettino and others are still in the frame, Ten Hag’s happiness of working with a sporting director could help him land the United job.

He worked with Overmars at Ajax and Go Ahead Eagles, and under a similar model as Bayern Munich’s second team coach, while he even worked as a sporting director Utrecht.

“I started to believe in that construction when I was working in Germany,” Ten Hag said recently.

“My education as a manager in top level football I had at Bayern Munich. There is hardly a better education for a coach or a manager.

“I love the German model. In Germany it is a common thing that sporting directors sit right next to you on the bench there.

“If you have a good sporting director, you know he takes a lot of the noise away around the manager – both internally and to the outside world.

“He will back you up and will also take away all the hassle with football agents. That way I can fully concentrate on the team and the development of the players.

“I can only see the advantages of a sporting director close to you on the bench.

“I want a sporting director who can be honest and straight. If something is not right, you know quickly and can be told to your face because you work with each other every day.”