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Erik ten Hag terminates Ajax contract for Manchester United role

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By Martin Graham | 16th May 2022

Erik ten Hag has left his role at Ajax Amsterdam earlier than expected to begin his new role at Manchester United.

The 52-year-old was appointed to the role in early April after a protracted saga that saw many names being touted as the next Manchester United manager. He beat out his closest rival, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, to the role and remained to finish the job he started at Ajax.

Following the clinching of the Eredivisie title – his third straight title since assuming the role in 2017 – ten Hag was sent off by the club in front of the fans at Johan Cruijff Arena but was expected to remain at the club until June.

However, following the end of the season officially, ten Hag reportedly terminated his contract in order to travel to Manchester and begin a massive rebuild at Old Trafford, according to reports.

He was reported to have met with United’s football director John Murtough in Amsterdam in midweek to discuss the plans the club has for the upcoming summer transfer window. Following that meeting, he terminated his Ajax contract in order to begin making the necessary preparations for the new arrivals.

Ten Hag was supposed to travel with Ajax to Curacao for an end-of-season trip following their Eredivisie title triumph. Instead, he has chosen to use that time to prepare for the huge task ahead of him at Old Trafford and is reported to be making plans to move to his new job.

Speaking after his final home game at the Johan Cruijff Arena, the former FC Utrecht manager said about his new role: “There is a lot of work to be done. The job of the manager is to prepare the preseason. There’s a lot of work for our preseason.

“There are things that needs to be organised staff and squad-wise. We will work intensively on that from [Monday onwards].”

Among ten Hag’s immediate concerns are his coaching team, having been rebuffed by Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Fred Rutten. Mitchell van der Gaag will join him, however, and Steve McClaren, a former assistant coach of Sir Alex Ferguson’s at United, is also expected to join them.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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