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Ten Hag ‘offered Man Utd escape route’

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United

Erik ten Hag might not be unemployed for long should Sir Jim Ratcliffe get rid of him, with Ajax ready to bring their former manager back to the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Ten Hag is likely to come under increasing pressure at Manchester United once Ratcliffe’s regime is in full swing – the INEOS chief having paid £1.3 billion for a 27.7 per cent stake in the club that gives him ‘sporting control’ at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag led the club to the EFL Cup and a third-place finish in the Premier League last season, but they are only sixth this term, and it is understood Ratcliffe is interested in signing former Chelsea and Brighton boss Graham Potter to replace him.

Ajax have appointed a new CEO in Alex Kroes, meanwhile, and he has drawn up a shortlist for a new head coach in Amsterdam which Ten Hag tops, alongside Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders.

— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) December 13, 2023

Ten Hag on a free?

“Sources close to Ajax have confirmed that Kroes hasn’t ruled out offering Ten Hag an escape route out of Old Trafford,” reports The Daily Mirror’s Simon Mullock. “Ajax are fifth in the Eredivisie and not prepared to pay compensation during their search for a new boss.

“New United co-owner […] Ratcliffe is set to make a decision on Ten Hag’s future at the end of the season and the Dutchman may even walk away from the final year of his contract in Manchester if he is not given assurances by the club about the power he will be given.”

Ten Hag has had public fall-outs with a number of players: some resolved, like with Marcus Rashford, and others not, as with Jadon Sancho, who has been sent back to Borussia Dortmund on loan.

Playing in Sancho’s favoured position has been former Ajax man Antony, who hasn’t mustered a single goal-involvement from 22 Premier League outings this season, and a number of fans would be happy to see him follow Ten Hag back to the Netherlands.

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