Manchester United are reportedly set to appoint Erik ten Hag as the club’s next permanent manager.
Sources have told ESPN that United are ready to finalise the appointment of Ten Hag, who is set to leave his role as Ajax head coach at the end of the season to take over at Old Trafford.
United have been without a permanent manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick placed in charge of the team until the end of the campaign.
The Premier League club have been conducting a thorough search for Solskjaer’s replacement and have now settled on Ten Hag, after holding talks with the Dutchman last month.
The 52-year-old had reportedly been on a four-man shortlist along with PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Spain manager Luis Enrique and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui.
United’s football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher have been responsible for the recruitment process, and have reported to chief executive Richard Arnold – with joint-chairman Joel Glazer having the final say.
ESPN revealed that while some at the club were considering Pochettino for the role, Arnold and Glazer are in agreement that Ten Hag is the best candidate for the job.
The report also claims Rene Meulensteen, who was a first-team coach under former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson between 2007 and 2013, is being considered as Ten Hag’s assistant manager.
Former England manager Steve McClaren, who was Ferguson’s No 2 at Old Trafford between 1999 and 2001, has also been linked with the job, having previously worked alongside Ten Hag at Dutch club Twente.
According to the report, the managerial vacancy came down to a ‘straight shootout’ between Ten Hag and Pochettino.
Former Tottenham manager Pochettino was initially the favoured candidate to replace Solskjaer.
But a combination of PSG’s dramatic defeat to Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League and the potential cost of releasing Pochettino from the final 12 months of his contract at the Parc des Princes have convinced United to opt for Ten Hag.
According to the report, PSG are willing to hold out for a £15m compensation package from United for Pochettino, while the Premier League club will only have to pay Ajax a fee of £1.7m for Ten Hag.