Erik ten Hag has repeatedly declined to be drawn in to comment on growing speculation that he will become Manchester United’s next manager.
Despite United insisting a ‘deal done’ has not been agreed for a new manager, the Manchester Evening News understands Ten Hag’s Ajax club expect him to take over at Old Trafford this summer. Before that, however, Ten Hag remains involved in a run for the Eredivisie title.
The Amsterdam club took a step closer to the trophy on Saturday with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sparta Rotterdam, which saw them climb seven points ahead of top-ranked PSV Eindhoven. They have played one game more than their rivals.
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After the game, Ten Hag was bombarded with questions about his future and a possible move to United, but he refrained from confirming that a deal was close or that negotiations had even taken place.
As Twitter user @TheEuropeanLad recounted, Ten Hag was asked: “Wouldn’t it be better to clear things up as soon as possible regarding Manchester United?” To which he responded by saying, “We’re talking about the game, not rumours.”
The reporter went on to say, “But you’ve spoken with the Manchester United people, it’s more than just rumours.” But Ten Hag held on, saying, “I want to talk about the game.”
The NOS outlet then asked him what he could say about the United deal, to which he replied: “Nothing. We have finals left to play.” The 52-year-old was further pressed when asked if negotiations were ongoing but again refused to confirm: “I won’t tell you if it’s true or not. “
Ten Hag’s responses come as the English media were banned from attending his latest press conference.
the Manchester Evening News revealed three weeks ago Ten Hag was United’s preferred candidate to take over this summer, having edged out PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino, and it is understood the Dutchman was interviewed by the club two weeks ago.
Although United considered Spain coach Luis Enrique and Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui, the process was effectively between Ten Hag and Pochettino, who has been passionate about United’s work for most of the past four years.
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