Ajax chief wants to bring back under-fire Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag | Football

The Dutchman could become available if United pull the trigger (Picture: Getty)

Ajax chief Alex Kroes has made Erik ten Hag his top target to re-take the reins at the Amsterdam Arena and is prepared to wait to see if Manchester United sack him.

The Dutch giants have endured a miserable season and are currently in fifth place in the Eredivisie table, some 35 points behind champions PSV.

John van ‘t Schip, who took over in October, is only contracted until the end of the season and Ajax’s hierarchy have already been assessing and weighing up potential successors for some time.

The decision will ultimately rest on the shoulders of Kroes, who was appointed as Ajax’s CEO in March only to be suspended just 19 days later after being accused of insider trading.

He has since been allowed to return to the club, this time as technical director, and he will oversee the recruitment of a new manager.

Ajax had held talks with former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter, but De Telegraaf’s Mike Verweij is reporting that the Englishman is not the club’s first-choice target.

Instead, Kroes wants to wait to see if former boss Ten Hag becomes available at the end of the season, with significant doubts emerging over the Dutchman’s future at Manchester United.

Ajax technical director Alex Kroes

Kroes is in charge of deciding Ajax’s next manager (Picture: Getty)

The Red Devils have struggled for consistency, giving up a host of a chances in almost every match they play, and face a fight to secure European football next season after falling seven points adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham having played a game more.

A sixth-place finish would secure Europa League football – something they can also achieve if they win the FA Cup final next month – while seventh place would earn a spot in the Europa Conference League, with Newcastle, West Ham and Chelsea all breathing down their neck and within five points.

Any decision over Ten Hag’s future will not be made until after the FA Cup final against Manchester City, though Ajax and Kroes are prepared to wait as they see the 54-year-old as the ideal candidate.

That said, they do not want to wait too long and potentially miss out on other targets, so if United dither over a decision – it has been suggested that Ten Hag may effectively be put on trial over the summer – then Ajax are prepared to move on.

Potter remains of interest, though his wage demands are thought to be a little beyond Ajax’s budget, while Francesco Farioli is also highly regarded – ironically, the Italian is currently in charge of Nice, another club, like United, owned by Ineos.

Should Ajax miss out on all three of those names, then former short-lived academy coach Marcel Keizer could come into the frame as a backup option.

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