Erik ten Hag has refused to be drawn on speculation suggesting he could become Manchester United’s next permanent manager.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News , Ten Hag is now United’s preferred choice to become the club’s next permanent boss. United haven’t finalised their plans thus far, although they still intend on making an appointment before the end of the season.
Mauricio Pochettino remains one of the frontrunners for the job alongside the Dutchman, while United have not ruled out making an approach for Thomas Tuchel amid the ongoing uncertainty at Chelsea. However, Ten Hag looks to be leading the way.
The 52-year-old is under contract at Ajax until next year, although his compensation package shouldn’t pose much of an issue for United. The Premier League giants have been impressed by his ability to rebuild his side following the departures of some key players.
Ten Hag has now been given his first opportunity to speak about the latest development in United’s interest. News of their preference for the Ajax boss came after his side were dumped out of the Champions League this week at the hands of Benfica.
Ten Hag responded exactly as you would expect when asked about the links. Speaking ahead of his side’s clash with Feyenoord this weekend, the Dutchman insisted his focus remains on finishing the season strongly with Ajax.
“I am just focused on this season,” Ten Hag said during his press conference. “All energy is being put in the current squad. I don’t think about next season. I want to get the maximum out of the current season, we can still win two trophies.”
On his side’s exit from the Champions League, Ten Hag added: “Of course, it is clear that this disappointment is coming.
But a sportsman fights back, gets himself back together and focuses on the future. We have to make sure we play in the Champions League again next year.”