Manchester United

Next Man Utd manager: Rangnick names Ajax boss Ten Hag one of the best coaches in Europe

9:52 AM WAT 06/03/2022
Erik ten Hag Ajax 2021
The Red Devils' interim boss has talked up the talents of a Dutch tactician currently working wonders at Johan Cruyff ArenA

Ralf Rangnick has named Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as one of the best coaches in Europe amid Manchester United's search for a new permanent manager.

United drafted in Rangnick on an interim basis after deciding to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the team's poor start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Rangnick has since managed to steady the ship, reigniting the Red Devils' hopes of a top-four Premier League finish, but will be moving into an advisory role at the end of the season.

What's been said?

A permanent replacement for Solskjaer is still being sought, and Ten Hag has been reported as one of the leading candidates for the role.

Rangnick is not aware of any discussions with the Dutchman taking place, but ranks him among the elite coaches in the business.

"I don't know him to start with as a person, but I've seen how Ajax have developed since he's been there," the United chief has told Sky Sports.

"I know about the work he did while he was at Bayern Munich and it's obvious he's one of the top coaches in Europe but there are a few others.

"We've not spoken about any new manager so far and therefore we've not spoken about him."

Rangnick was speaking ahead of the Red Devils' crucial derby clash with Manchester City on Sunday, and went on to reveal that he already has a preferred option in mind to fill his spot in the dugout.

"So far, we've not spoken about that," he said. "Not with [football director] John Murtough or anyone else, we've not spoken about this topic over the last weeks and months since I've been here. I know my opinion but so far we've not spoken about that so it's all I can tell you."

Ten Hag's credentials

Ten Hag began his coaching career with the Go Ahead Eagles in 2012, where he spent one year before taking over Bayern Munich II.

The 52-year-old moved to Twente after leaving Germany and guided the club to a fourth-placed Eredivisie finish in 2016-17, attracting attention from Ajax in the process.

Ten Hag was handed an initial two-and-a-half-year contract at Johan Cruyff Arena, and has seen that agreement extended after delivering four domestic trophies, including two Eredivisie titles.

Ajax are on course to retain the trophy this season and still going strong in the Champions League, but Ten Hag has entered the last 18 months of his contract and United could yet come calling in the summer.

Further reading