AJAX boss Erik ten Hag had his interview for the Manchester United job on Monday, where the Old Trafford club would also speak to Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique
- Ajax ‘Erik ten Hag is the favorite to become the next Manchester United boss
- Current Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has now dropped out of the running
- United bosses hope to make a final call to Ralf Rangnick’s successor in April
- Ajax coach Ten Hag has previously been linked with Tottenham and Newcastle
Erik ten Hag has been interviewed for the Manchester United job, Sportsmail can reveal.
The 52-year-old Ajax coach spoke to United on Monday as the club stepped up its search for a permanent replacement to take over from Ralf Rangnick next season.
United sources said on Tuesday that a number of candidates will be interviewed from a list that includes Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique.
Erik ten Hag has been interviewed in connection with the acquisition as manager of Manchester United
Ralf Rangnick is the current interim manager at United, but will switch to a new role this summer
Thomas Tuchel is no longer considered a viable option. Ten Hag, who was previously linked with Tottenham and Newcastle, is the bookmakers’ favorite to take over.
United hope to make a decision by the end of next month and have the new man in place as soon as possible after the season ends.
A confirmation that the 52-year-old spoke to United will only turn up the buzz that he is now the direct favorite to take over at Old Trafford this summer.
United call for caution over Ten Hag speculation. Sources insist that a research process overseen by football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher was not completed until earlier this month, allowing initial talks with candidates to get under way, which has now evolved into formal interviews.
Julen Lopetegui (left) and Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked with a United switch
On the shortlist, Spanish coach Luis Enrique is a shot from outside to get into Old Trafford
There is an acceptance at United that too many stars have to line up for Tuchel to leave Chelsea, while the club in crisis is still looking for new owners.
It may take some time before Tuchel’s future becomes clear and United want to have the new man in place as soon as possible after the end of this season.
Pochettino in particular has been the biggest challenger along with Ten Hag ever since United installed Ralf Rangnick as interim boss.
But his odds have dropped in recent days and there is a growing suspicion in the Argentine’s camp that the job is now Ten Hags to lose.
John Murtough (left) and Darren Fletcher (right) have overseen the process of appointing a new manager at Manchester United ahead of next season
However, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s uncertain future has put him out of the game
At Ajax, meanwhile, it is expected that their coach will leave at the end of this promotion.
United will also have to talk to their formidable agent Kees Vos, who negotiated Robin van Persie’s move to Old Trafford from Arsenal a decade ago and only recently added Guardiola’s brother Pere to his Sports Entertainment Group.
Ajax have indicated they will not stand in the way of Ten Hag and have a good relationship with United through their chief executive Edwin van der Sar, but there will still be a compensation of around £ 4 million.
For now, however, it remains hypothetical. United say there is a long way to go in this process and that there is no frontrunner.