Erik ten Hag’s stance as he’s offered escape route out of Man Utd | Football

Erik ten Hag is fighting for his job at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag is set to be handed a possible escape route out of Manchester United as Ajax eye up a stunning swoop for their former manager in the summer.

The 54-year-old finds himself under intense pressure after an immensely disappointing campaign for United in both the Champions League and Premier League, with the club stranded down in sixth – 13 points off fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Incessant speculation over Ten Hag’s position only intensified as new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe refused to publicly back the United head coach following his £1.3billion partial takeover back in February and it remains to be seen who will be in charge at the start of next season.

However, the Red Devils have an FA Cup final to look forward to against holders Manchester City – a repeat of last year’s showpiece – and it appears Ten Hag’s future could hinge on the result at Wembley on May 25.

Reports in the Netherlands claim Ajax are keeping close tabs on developments at Old Trafford and have placed Ten Hag at the top of their shortlist of managerial targets, just two years after he upped sticks and left Amsterdam for Manchester.

Ajax’s interim manager John van’t Schip is expected to depart at the end of the campaign and the Eredivisie outfit have identified Ten Hag as a potential replacement, along with the likes of Graham Potter and Francesco Farioli.

But according to The Daily Mail, Ten Hag and his coaching staff would be ‘reluctant’ to walk away from the Theatre of Dreams in order to force through a return to Ajax.

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag left Ajax to take over the reins at United in the summer of 2022 (Picture: Getty)

The report adds that Ten Hag – who steered Ajax to three Eredivisie titles – may seek a fresh challenge away from his homeland, with La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga potential options should he be dismissed by United.

Ten Hag still has over a year remaining on his current contract in the north west and pulling the trigger this summer could cost United in excess of £10million.

A 1-1 draw with Premier League strugglers Burnley did little to help Ten Hag’s cause and the United boss conceded defeat in the race to secure Champions League qualification while speaking to BBC Sport after Saturday’s clash.

INEOS will wait until after the FA Cup final to make a final decision on Ten Hag’s future (Picture: Getty)

Asked whether Europa League qualification now looks most likely for United, he told Match of the Day: ‘That is the facts.

‘It is not easy to get fourth when you’re so far behind. We needed to win.

‘The past few weeks we’ve got in winning positions and then given it away. The gap is too big in this phase of the season.’

The Red Devils have reportedly held talks with Tuchel (Picture: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel, who departs Bayern Munich this summer, has been mooted as a potential successor for Ten Hag and reports emanating out of Germany suggest United have made contact with the former Chelsea head coach.

According to club legend Peter Schmeichel, Tuchel ‘projects an authority’ and has the ‘kind of pedigree’ to manage United if INEOS were to sack Ten Hag at the end of the season.

‘I just like him, there’s something about him. He projects an authority,’ Schmeichel told beIN SPORTS.

‘If Manchester United were in the market for a manager then he should be somebody mentioned in that respect. He should be.

‘He has that kind of pedigree, he’s got the authority, he’s proven he can win which I think is really important.

‘He doesn’t come with a set system, “This is how our football is being played”… yeah, of course, he’s a big-club manager, isn’t he?’

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