01 April 2022

Erik ten Hag’s ‘focus is on Ajax’ amid Manchester United speculation

01 April 2022

Erik ten Hag has not denied speaking to Manchester United about taking over as manager this summer but insisted his full focus remains on finishing the season with Ajax.

United had not rejected reports they had interviewed Ten Hag last week as they seek a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Paris St Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino and Spain’s Luis Enrique among the others linked with the role.

The 52-year-old has won two Eredivisie titles and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League since being appointed by Ajax in December 2017.

Erik ten Hag, right, and Mauricio Pochettino have been linked with Manchester United (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

This season his side are two points clear of PSV Eindhoven in the table and will also face PSV in the Dutch cup final later this month, having been knocked out of the Champions League by Benfica in the last-16.

Speaking to Sport 1 in Germany, Ten Hag said he could not rule out leaving Amsterdam this summer.

“My focus is currently only on Ajax,” he said. “But in football you never know. I don’t want to rule anything out. I’m currently employed here at Ajax to perform. With the cup final against Eindhoven, we still have eight finals left, and I need all my energy for that.

If at some point I should decide to take the next step, I hope that people here will understand.

“Anything else would just be a distraction. I know that everything in football can change from one day to the next. If at some point I should decide to take the next step, I hope that people here will understand.”

And asked to confirm or deny speaking to United, Ten Hag added: “Everyone knows each other in the industry. There are always talks with representatives from other clubs, that’s normal.

“Manchester United is a great club with great fans. But I can only repeat myself. My full focus is completely on Ajax. We are already planning for the new season.

“I’ve sat down with Ajax after every season so far. That will also be the case this time. I can say that Ajax and Erik ten Hag are very happy with each other at the moment.”

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