Manchester United have finally confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in football after naming Erik Ten Hag as their new boss on an initial three-year deal from July 1.
Ajax boss Ten Hag has been the preferred candidate to take over from current interim chief Ralf Rangnick and United have now got their man.
The 52-year-old is officially set to take charge at Old Trafford over the summer after agreeing a deal with the Premier League giants until June 2025 with the option of extending that for a further year.
He will leave Ajax after four-and-a-half years in charge during which time he has won two Eredivisie titles, with a third likely this year, and two Dutch cups.
The Red Devils say the appointment is subject to work visa requirements, which are expected to be a formality, and Ten Hag will be charged with leading what’s widely expected to be a major rebuild over the summer after another difficult campaign will see United end it with no silverware for the fifth season running.
United’s director of football John Murtough said: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.
“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.
“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”
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Ten Hag was previously in charge of Go Ahead Eagles in his homeland between July 2012 and June 2013, before a spell at Bayern Munich in Germany where he worked as reserve team manager. He then took up a role with Utrecht in the Netherlands for a two-and-a-half-year spell before moving to Amsterdam.
The highly-rated coach, who was initially thought to be in a straight fight with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino for the United job, said: “It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead.
“I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.
“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”
Rangnick, who replaced the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, is set to move into a consultancy role at the end of the season with Ten Hag becoming United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
United (14/1 Top 4 finish) are in a fight to finish fourth in the Premier League this season and sit sixth in the table, three points behind current fourth-placed Tottenham (4/6) having played a game more following Tuesday’s dismal 4-0 defeat against old rivals Liverpool.
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