Erik ten Hag 'is now the clear favourite to become Manchester United's new manager'

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Erik ten Hag ‘is now the clear favourite to become Man United’s new manager’ in his battle with Mauricio Pochettino with a second and final round of interviews planned as the Red Devils finally close in on a long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

  • Erik ten Hag has reportedly become the favourite for the Manchester United job
  • The in-demand Ajax manager was interviewed by the Red Devils last week
  • He faces stiff competition from Mauricio Pochettino for the Red Devils vacancy
  • Louis van Gaal this week urged Ten Hag not to take the United manager’s job 

Erik ten Hag has reportedly emerged as the favourite to become Manchester United’s new permanent manager as the club prepares to conduct a second and final round of interviews.

The Ajax boss has been heavily linked to the Old Trafford vacancy in recent weeks and is one of two leading contenders to become the long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The battle for the United job has been centered around Ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, while Luis Enrique of Spain, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui have also been named as possible options.

Erik ten Hag has reportedly emerged as the favourite to become Manchester United manager

Erik ten Hag has reportedly emerged as the favourite to become Manchester United manager

Sportsmail revealed Ajax boss ten Hag had an interview with United on Monday, although he is not the first candidate to hold formal discussions with new chief executive Richard Arnold

Sportsmail revealed Ajax boss ten Hag had an interview with United on Monday, although he is not the first candidate to hold formal discussions with new chief executive Richard Arnold

Ten Hag has impressed at Ajax and been linked to several jobs across Europe

Ten Hag has impressed at Ajax and been linked to several jobs across Europe

But The Telegraph report that Ten Hag has moved to the front of the queue for the role and is now the clear favourite to take over this summer.

United have been put under pressure to make a move in recent weeks amid interest in both Ten Hag and Pochettino from other clubs around Europe.

Now they are planning on carrying out one last round of interviews before naming their new manager. 

Ajax did give Ten Hag permission to be interviewed by United last week and that the level of compensation required to get him out of Amsterdam – which Sportsmail understands would fall in the region of £4million – is not a problem.

Sky Sports reported this week that since interviewing Ten Hag, as revealed by Sportsmail, Old Trafford chiefs have been conducting ‘due diligence’ on the Ajax boss, including discovering the compensation requited to prise him from the Amsterdam club.  

Ten Hag has led Ajax to two Eredivisie and KNVB Cup doubles and his side are currently two points ahead in the title race with PSV Eindhoven with seven games to go.

Ajax also have to navigate a KNVB Cup final against PSV on April 17. 

However, it’s also reported that Ten Hag’s camp harbour concerns that United are worried he does not have the experience to overhaul the club’s fortunes. 

But United’s recent decisions to hire Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – two managers with vast football experience – backfired and Ten Hag has proven himself to be a winner in Holland. 

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is also a leading contender, despite a poor spell in France

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is also a leading contender, despite a poor spell in France

United need a new manager after another dismal season that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer axed

United need a new manager after another dismal season that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer axed

Van Gaal this week urged Ten Hag not to even consider taking the United manager’s job, warning they are more of a business than a football club. 

The Dutch veteran – sacked by United hours after lifting the FA Cup in 2016 – told his fellow Dutchman to look elsewhere for his next job.  

‘Erik ten Hag is a great manager and that’s good for Manchester United, but Manchester United are a commercial club,’ Van Gaal said. 

‘I’m not going to advise him but he should choose a football club, not a commercial one.’ 

It’s claimed the club have spoken to one other contender in recent weeks – outside of Pochettino and Ten Hag – but it is not Enrique or Lopetegui.

Holland coach Louis van Gaal this week urged Ten Hag not to take the United manager's job

Holland coach Louis van Gaal this week urged Ten Hag not to take the United manager’s job

The Red Devils were urged to take advantage of Chelsea’s precarious financial situation owing to the UK government’s sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich by making a move for Tuchel.

However, the German is thought to want to stay at Stamford Bridge but his job could become uncertain when Chelsea’s new owners arrive.

PSG are willing to let Pochettino go after an underwhelming spell in the French capital that saw him miss out on the Ligue 1 title last season and fail in their bid to win the Champions League this time around – even after signing Lionel Messi.  

Pochettino and his staff are due to be paid up to €20million (£17m) in compensation should he be sacked by the French giants. But PSG will not expect any form of payment should United make a move for him.

PSG are holding out for Zinedine Zidane to become their new coach this summer, although there is concern he is eyeing the France national team job when Didier Deschamps departs after the Qatar World Cup. 

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