Erik ten Hag may be the leading candidate to become the new Manchester United manager, but the Dutchman once accused them of committing a “mortal sin”.
The 52-year-old is seemingly closing in on the United job after being interviewed for the role on Monday as bosses look to appoint their future manager as soon as possible. Ralf Rangnick has been filling in on a temporary basis after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked last year.
But Rangnick is expected to take on a consultancy role when his contract expires on June 1, meaning that United must act to secure their long-term future. Ten Hag is now the frontrunner but has previously disagreed with the club’s decision making.
Ten Hag is not one to keep his opinions to himself, and the Dutchman accused United of committing a “mortal sin” after they signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax.
It was Ten Hag that sold the midfielder to United in 2020, but he has barely featured for the Red Devils since making the £40million move.
Van de Beek was one of Ajax’s best performers but has now joined Everton on loan in search of first-team football. Some have even suggested that Ten Hag is being prioritised by United so that they get the best out of Van de Beek from midfield.
Ten Hag was upset that it didn’t work out for Van de Beek under two separate managers at United, as neither Solskjaer or Rangnick made him a regular starter. The 52-year-old said to de Volkskrant back in December: “Donny, I find that hard. [It’s a] mortal sin.
“If you haven’t had a chance yet, then development will also stall. Every now and then you encourage them.” But if Ten Hag is appointed then he may be the best man to take on his own advice.
Van De Beek initially joined United after his move to Real Madrid collapsed, but his career in England has been a metaphor for his failed transfer. The Dutchman has barely had a look-in since 2020, and finally got his loan move after trying to leave in the summer.
United’s next manager could very much determine Van de Beek’s future at the club, with Mauricio Pochettino also a leading candidate alongside Ten Hag.
The popular choice appears to be the current Ajax boss, but Pochettino already has Premier League experience.