Man Utd 'close in' on deal for ten Hag as new manager
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Erik ten Hag is currently preparing to take charge of Manchester United next season, once the current campaign is over and done with. And it’s feasible he’ll bring a picture of Johan Cruyff with him to Old Trafford, having recently elaborated on the Dutch legend. It’s going to be an exciting new era for the Red Devils, who have fallen behind rivals such as Manchester City and Liverpool ever since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Manchester United have chosen Ten Hag ahead of the likes of Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique to lead the team going forward.
And he, like his predecessors, is likely to decorate his office to his own liking.
David Moyes worked with a United mousemat on his desk, while Jose Mourinho appeared to tweak the set-up so he can view training from afar.
With Ten Hag, though, it’s possible he’ll bring a picture with Cruyff with him as he looks to build a dynasty at Old Trafford.
Speaking ahead of Ajax’s Dutch Cup final with PSV Eindhoven this weekend, the 52-year-old has opened up on the significance on the image.
And what he says goes a long way to explaining why he tries to make his teams play as attacking football as possible.
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“There’s a reason I have pictures of Cruyff in my office,” he told NOS.
“Winning is important but you want to win with a certain style.
“You have to win with attractive football because you play football for the people. Johan Cruyff still walks around here, you can feel his DNA.”
As well as a picture of Cruyff, Ten Hag may also raid Ajax for two of their best young players when he moves to England.
Reports have suggested Antony is being lined up as a potential recruit, having dazzled in Amsterdam over the past few years.
United will need a new forward this summer amid the uncertainty over the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood.
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And Antony, who has been compared to Neymar, would be an exciting recruit for the Red Devils.
Ten Hag could also try and snap up Jurrien Timber, too.
United are expected to lose Phil Jones and Eric Bailly this summer, with neither player realising their full potential at Old Trafford.
And Timber would be a good replacement having established himself as one of European football’s most-promising young players.
Meanwhile, Graeme Souness thinks that Ten Hag is walking into a ‘disaster’ at United due to their poor form this season.
“If you’re the coach of Ajax, you generally have the best group of players in the Netherlands,” he wrote for The Times.
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“That is not the be-all and end-all: You still have to get the best out of them, find a way they enjoying playing and create an environment that they enjoy playing in.
“Erik ten Hag obviously has talent, but I’m not sure anything that he’s done will prepare him for what he’s walking into, if he takes the Manchester United job.
“Don’t forget Louis van Gaal managed Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Jose Mourinho managed Real Madrid, Inter and Chelsea before United.
“Ten Hag is walking into an absolute disaster. On the pitch, it has been a car crash of a club in the decade since Fergie left.”
Souness has also criticised United for their dire recruitment, too.
“That’s down to consistently terrible football decisions,” he continued.
“Whoever made them has not been a football person. Not one big-name signing since Fergie left has been an unqualified success.
“Bruno Fernandes comes closest, but he’s had one good season and one indifferent one. To be a top player he has to cut out the petulance he shows towards his team-mates.
“It’s not just the players United have brought in, but also those they have decided to keep.
“I’m sure Juan Mata is a really good character and fabulous around the place, but does that justify a contract extension on a high wage?
“They re-signed Anthony Martial and Phil Jones in 2019, although it’s been clear for years that they are not and never will be good enough.
“These are all bad decisions, as plain as the nose on your face, made by people who don’t understand the first thing about how football works.
“I’ve no problem with a technical director as long as it’s a talented person who knows what they are doing. It’s obvious they have not had that since Fergie left and boy, have they paid for it — spending more than £1billion on players.”
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