It was the worst kept secret in football, but finally Manchester United have announced that Ajax coach Erik ten Hag will be their next manager.
The Dutchman will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of this season on a three-year deal which can be extended by a year. Ten Hag will become United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
John Murtough, United’s Football Director, 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.”
Ajax are top of the Dutch Eredivisie, four points clear of PSV Eindhoven, with five matches left, although they lost to their rivals in the Dutch Cup final.
Ten Hag, who took over as Ajax head coach since December 2017, led them to the league and cup double in 2018-19 and 2020-21.
“It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead,” said Ten Hag.
“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 not be easy for Erik ten Hag. This United team needs a major overhaul with six players Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Matic, Cavani and Grant all expected to leave as they have all ran down their contract. Players like Jones, Bailly and Martial are also expected to leave Old Trafford this summer.
Whether ETH’s new signings will be playing in Europe next season is still very much up in the air. United are currently sixth in the Premier League with five games remaining this season, three points behind Tottenham, who occupy the fourth Champions League spot.