Ronaldo Felt ‘Provoked’ By Ten Hag In Substitution Row

File combo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag

 

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed he was “provoked” by a lack of respect from Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag when refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham last month.

Ronaldo has been a peripheral figure on the field during Ten Hag’s first season in charge.

In the final instalment of an interview with TalkTV, Ronaldo responded to criticism after he refused to come on and left Old Trafford early during United’s 2-0 win on October 19.

“I think he did it on purpose,” said Ronaldo. “I felt provoked. I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me.”

The club responded by suspending the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for the Red Devils’ next match against Chelsea.

READ ALSO: Portugal Defeat Rusty Super Eagles 4-0

“I think it was a strategy from the club for me to react that way,” he added. “I was very, very, very, very disappointed for the communication of Manchester United.

“To be honest, I never had a problem with any club, with any coach and they suspend me for three days, which I felt was a lot.”

In a statement on Monday, United said they will consider the club’s response to the interview once the full facts are established.

Former United captain Gary Neville said on Thursday that they now have no option but to rescind Ronaldo’s contract, which runs until the end of the season.

The 37-year-old was reportedly keen to leave the club even before the campaign began after United failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Ronaldo said he turned down an offer from Saudi Arabia worth 350 million euros ($364 million) over two seasons and dismissed claims there was a lack of interest from other European clubs.

“The garbage press say that nobody wanted me, which is completely wrong. I was happy here, I was motivated to do a great season here,” he said on staying at United

“But they continue to repeat: ‘nobody wanted Cristiano’. How are they going to not want a player who last season scored 32 goals including (for the) national team.”

Ronaldo revealed he hopes to keep playing until he is 40, but is looking forward to his fifth, and most likely final, World Cup in Qatar.

The tournament has been shrouded in controversy over human rights violations in the Gulf state and corruption claims in the bidding process.

But Ronaldo said the “focus” should be on the football for a first ever World Cup in November and December.

“We should focus only in football. The competition for people to enjoy,” he added.

“I see a good tournament to be honest. Qatar, they are prepared. It will be weird to play in the beginning of the season, but also a challenge.”

AFP

Ten Hag Explains Why He Axed Ronaldo For Chelsea Game

File combo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag

 

Manchester United boss, Erik ten Hag, has given his reasons for leaving Cristiano Ronaldo out of the team travelling to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Saturday afternoon. 

Ronaldo had refused to come on as a late sub in the match against Conte’s Tottenham on Wednesday night leaving ten Hag to state that his focus was on the tie against Chelsea and he  “will deal with that tomorrow.”

Speaking during a media briefing that was dominated by questions on  Ronaldo’s display, the Dutchman said he was responsible for the culture and had to set standards and values and control them.

“I said it was not acceptable, but he was not the only one. That was for everyone. So when it’s the second time, that will have consequences, and that is what we did,” the United boss said.

“So we miss him tomorrow and that is a miss for us and the squad. It’s a miss, but I think it’s important for the attitude for the mentality of the group, and now we have to focus on Chelsea and that is the most important [thing].”

Asked what he hoped dropping the Portuguese from the team will achieve, he responded “I think it will have a reflection, for him, but also for everyone else. I set a warning at the start of the season, and the next time it has to be the consequence.”

Speaking on the effects the punishment will have on the team insisted that such an occurrence was part of the sport and rumours shouldn’t deflect the team from Saturday’s crunch tie for the fourth spot on the Premier League table.

Ten Hag also said he was relishing the big wins at Old Trafford against the top sides in the league.

“It’s fabulous to play on Old Trafford, with our fans in our back. So, a great experience, every time again. And I think opponents don’t like to play at Old Trafford. But at the same time,” he said.

“I like to play away games because the stadiums in the Premier League are fantastic. So I am really looking forward to Stamford Bridge. Already I have that experience to play there, so I know how the atmosphere is there, so it’s fantastic.”

Ronaldo Happy At Man Utd Despite Frustrations, Says Ten Hag

In this file photo taken on April 28, 2022, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo applauds supporters after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea in Manchester, England.

 

Erik ten Hag admitted Wednesday that Cristiano Ronaldo is frustrated when he is not playing for Manchester United but insisted he is happy at Old Trafford.

The summer transfer window was dominated by speculation over the 37-year-old’s future after the club’s disappointing campaign in 2021/22.

Ronaldo reportedly received an eye-watering offer from Saudi Arabia, but no Champions League giants made their move for the Portugal attacker, who missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.

The forward could start just his fourth match in all competitions when United take on Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday.

Ronaldo was left on the bench for Sunday’s 6-3 derby hammering at Manchester City, leading to renewed questions about his future before the trip to Cyprus.

“I never talk about my conversations with the players,” United manager Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference.

“They are between us. That’s quite clear.

“But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.

“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.

“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”

READ ALSO: As He Plots Liverpool Revival, Klopp Says Even Ronaldo Has Confidence Dips

Ten Hag thanked City manager Pep Guardiola and his team for the reality check dished out at the Etihad.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks in a match that showed the chasm between Ten Hag’s side and back-to-back Premier League champions City.

“Obviously it was a difficult day,” said the Dutch boss.

“As always we analyse and we do that tough, the reality. It was a reality check, so we have to learn from it and carry on.

“You always take respect of the opponent but we will still stick to our philosophy, our rules, our principles.”

He added: “So thank you for the lesson, from Pep and City. We will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”

Bruno Fernandes said United’s players had held a meeting after the defeat to go through “the tough things, the mistakes that we did”.

“Obviously we know the game we played was not good enough for our standards, for what we have set for ourselves, for what we want to achieve this season,” said the attacking midfielder.

“We have let down the club altogether, not just one or two players. Altogether we didn’t do enough to win the game, to get points from that game.”

Defenders Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are among the absentees for United’s trip to Cyprus.

The club are second in Group E after defeat against Real Sociedad and a win against Sheriff Tiraspol.

AFP

Man Utd Boss Ten Hag ‘Convinced’ Maguire Can Recover Form

Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP
Ajax’s Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP

 

 

Manchester United manager Eric ten Hag says he is “convinced” Harry Maguire can turn his form around after another error-strewn display in England’s Nations League match against Germany.

Maguire, ruled out of United’s derby at Manchester City on Sunday due to injury, gave away a penalty against Germany on Monday and lost possession before the visitors’ second goal in the 3-3 draw.

His latest sub-par performance led to renewed talk about whether the 29-year-old defender, who has been out of form and favour at United, should still be in the England team, just weeks away from the World Cup.

But Ten Hag, like England boss Gareth Southgate, retains faith in Maguire and is certain he will improve.

“First of all, of course I have to coach him, I have to back him,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“But I back him because I believe in him. In the period I worked with him in pre-season he was good, I think I would say really good — training and games.

“Then he fell out (of the starting line-up) but it’s also to do with the good performance of the centre-backs who are playing now.”

Argentina’s Lisandro Martinez and France international Raphael Varane have been Ten Hag’s preferred centre-back partnership in recent games.

Ten Hag said everyone in United’s squad and on their coaching staff still believe in the former Leicester centre-back, who picked up a knock on England duty.

“Now it is about him,” he said. “That is what I told him. I’m sure he can do it. He will turn around this. I am really convinced of that.”

United’s match on Sunday will be their first Premier League outing since they beat Arsenal 3-1 on September 4 — the Crystal Palace and Leeds fixtures were called off following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ten Hag Demands Attitude Change From Man Utd

Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP
Ajax’s Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP

 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag lambasted the attitude of his players in an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend as he demanded a response in Monday’s clash with Liverpool.

The Dutchman is off to the worst start of any new United manager in over 100 years after losing both his opening games to leave the Red Devils rooted to the bottom of the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.

Brentford players covered 13.8 kilometres more in a famous win for the Bees and Ten Hag reportedly responded by cancelling a planned day off to make his squad run that distance the day after defeat last Saturday.

“I was definitely not happy,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “The basic stuff has to be good and that has to start with the right attitude.

“You need fighting spirit on the pitch and I didn’t see it from minute one.

“The players didn’t play good, a lot went wrong. You don’t have to talk about anything (tactical) when the attitude is not right.”

United’s disastrous start to the season on the field has followed a frustrating summer in the transfer market as a drawn out pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong looks set to end in failure.

However, the English giants do seem set to land another midfielder from La Liga with Real Madrid’s Casemiro on the brink of a move that could rise to 70 million euros (£51 million, $61 million).

Ten Hag refused to comment on the arrival of the Brazilian international, but did offer support for the club’s embattled owners, the Glazer family.

A mass protest is planned outside Old Trafford ahead of the Liverpool match with supporters pointing the finger at the Americans for a decade of decline since legendary former manager Alex Ferguson retired.

“I can only say the owners want to win,” added Ten Hag. “The fans, we want them behind the club.

“I can understand sometimes but I am not that long in the club that I can see all the backgrounds, but we have to fight together so we have to be unified and fight together.”

Even if Casemiro is signed before Monday, he will not be registered in time to make his debut.

Anthony Martial is fit to return, leaving Ten Hag with another big call to make on whether to start Cristiano Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has featured in United’s opening two games of the season but still appears to be trying to orchestrate a move away from Old Trafford before the transfer window closes.

AFP

Ronaldo Blasts ‘Lies’ Over Man Utd Future

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo (L) reacts after conceding their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Manchester United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / AFP)

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at the “lies” surrounding reports about his future at Manchester United.

The Portugal forward missed United’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia due to personal reasons as speculation swirled over whether he would be leaving Old Trafford.

It has been reported Ronaldo wants to play Champions League football, but United maintains the 37-year-old is not for sale and remains an integral part of the plans of new boss Erik ten Hag.

The former Real Madrid star played the full 90 minutes of United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday, which left them bottom of the Premier League.

In a reply to a fan account on Instagram that referred to a report linking the United frontman to Atletico Madrid, Ronaldo said fans would “know the truth” in a couple of weeks, adding: “The media is telling lies.”

“I have a notebook and in the last few months of the 100 news I made, only five were right. Imagine how it is. Stick with that tip.”

Manchester United will seek to kickstart their Premier League campaign when they host fierce rivals, Liverpool, on Monday.

United’s owners, the Glazer family, have come under fire following the team’s terrible start.

Former United defender Gary Neville has warned the club could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League if they do not address their “horror story” recruitment strategy.

Manchester United supporters’ group ‘The 1958’ is planning a protest march outside Old Trafford against the club’s owners ahead of the Liverpool match.

In a statement, the group said the ownership was “systematically starving and killing the greatest football institution in world football, for greed”.

“We appreciate emotions are running high,” it added. “We must keep it legal, we must keep it peaceful…. Bring the heat, bring the noise, bring the passion. Let’s show the Glazer family that this time it will not blow over.”

Billionaire Elon Musk sparked a social media frenzy on Tuesday evening when he raised the prospect of buying United from the Glazer family.

The Tesla CEO made the comment in a tweet, then later clarified his position by saying he had no intention of buying a sports team and that it had been a “long-running joke”.

Ten Hag Tells Maguire To Win Over Critics

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire talks to manager Erik ten Hag (R) during a training session at the WACA stadium in Perth on July 21, 2022, ahead of the tour match between Manchester United and Aston Villa. (Photo by Trevor Collens / AFP

 

New Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag told skipper Harry Maguire on Friday that it is up to him to win over the fans by performing better.

The Dutchman also said that he is still in the market for new players and needs “more options”, with United chasing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

Ten Hag has stamped his mark on United during the pre-season tour of Asia and Australia but kept Maguire as captain despite the England centre-back struggling last year and being booed by fans.

The jeering has followed the 29-year-old to Australia, where Maguire was targeted by a smattering of fans in their 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace in Melbourne.

“We heard,” Ten Hag told reporters in Perth ahead of United’s friendly against Aston Villa on Saturday.

“But you see, if you perform, it slows down. It’s about how can we change it.

“The team and Harry can by performing, and that is the only focus.”

United have impressed in their first games under disciplinarian Ten Hag with convincing friendly victories over Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Palace.

Their attacking play, hallmarks of Ajax during Ten Hag’s reign, has led to renewed confidence ahead of the new Premier League season following their disappointing sixth-placed finish last season.

The Red Devils appear set to start the campaign without Cristiano Ronaldo, who hasn’t reported back for pre-season after asking to leave Old Trafford. He is missing the tour due to “a family issue”.

“Of course. But concerning is maybe not the right word,” Ten Hag said when asked if he was concerned about Ronaldo’s absence.

“I focus on the players who are there, they are doing really well, they are in good shape.

“I prefer to focus on that and develop that. I cannot wait for him to come in, then we will integrate him.”

As the Ronaldo drama plays out in the background, United are intent on strengthening their squad before the transfer window closes on September 1.

United have signed left-back Tyrell Malacia, centre-back Lisandro Martinez and playmaker Christian Eriksen but appear in need of a central midfielder and forward.

“We signed Eriksen for the midfield department, so we are really happy with that,” Ten Hag said.

“We need more options where you have a good team, and it’s not only about the team, you need a good squad to get the right results at the end of the season.

“So we have to strengthen the squad even more and we are looking around, but we also need the right players.”

-AFP

Ten Hag Off To Great Start As United Thump Liverpool 4-0

Manchester United's players pose for a team photo before the start of the exhibition football match between English Premier League teams Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok on July 12, 2022. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)
Manchester United’s players pose for a team photo before the start of the exhibition football match between English Premier League teams Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok on July 12, 2022. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

 

Erik Ten Hag said he was “satisfied” Tuesday after getting off to a perfect start as Manchester United manager, but insisted he would not be getting carried away after a 4-0 thumping of arch-rivals Liverpool in a preseason friendly in Thailand.

United started strongly against an unfamiliar Liverpool line-up, cruising to a 3-0 half-time lead through goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, despite being without the unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo who missed the trip for family reasons.

Both managers made wholesale substitutions throughout the 90 minutes and Jurgen Klopp’s stronger second-half Liverpool line-up dominated possession before Facundo Pellistri grabbed United’s fourth on the break, 14 minutes from time.

READ ALSO: Pogba ‘Happy To Be Home’ At Juventus

It gave Ten Hag and his new side a morale-boosting win in their first warm-up outing ahead of the new Premier League campaign beginning next month.

“I am satisfied today,” said Dutchman Ten Hag, who took the reins at Old Trafford less than two months ago.

“It was a team with a great spirit and we know we are just getting started.

“We made some mistakes in the press, we conceded some chances, but we created a lot.”

Liverpool were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, hitting the woodwork three times after Sancho opened the scoring in the 12th minute, the England winger slotting home to capitalise on a sloppy clearance from Isaac Mabaya.

Fred’s instinctive, measured chip over the unsighted Liverpool goalkeeper Allison Becker and a crowd of defenders extended the lead in the 30th minute.

And it took just another three minutes for man-of-the-match Martial to make it 3-0 with a fine finish over Allison, after another Liverpool defensive mistake had allowed the striker a clear run at goal.

‘A bit early for us’

“The game came up a bit early for us. But I saw some good things,” said Klopp. “That is just the start of the pre-season.

“It is all a learning process and we are at the start of it.”

More substitutions after half-time saw Liverpool bring on experience and flair in the shape of Virgil van Dijk at the back and Mohamed Salah up front.

Big-money signing Darwin Nunez, bought for nearly 100 million euros from Benfica, played the last half an hour, the Uruguayan coming close to opening his account for Liverpool in the 70th minute.

Four minutes from time the lively Salah curled a trademark left-footed shot goalbound, only to see it cannon off the post with Nunez blazing the rebound over the bar when it seemed easier to score.

By then Pellistri had slotted home the fourth after a flowing counter-attack.

“We have to work hard to cut out the mistakes but of course we are happy,” said Ten Hag.

“I know we have good players. We have started to build a team and I am happy with the first game,” he added.

“It will take a lot of time. I have seen a lot of mistakes. Liverpool played three teams, they were not at their strongest. We will not overestimate this result.”

United have come in for criticism from fans for their lack of activity in the transfer market.

But their faithful did get a glimpse of the club’s lone signing of the summer so far, Tyrell Malacia, after half-time.

“I’m very happy. It feels amazing to be here and to wear this shirt,” said the left-back who was signed from Feyenoord last week.

“It was difficult. It was very hard, but we made it.”

Manchester will now head to Australia for more preseason matches, while Liverpool will face Crystal Palace in Singapore on Friday.

 

AFP

Man Utd Manager Ralf Rangnick Named Austria Coach

In this file photo, Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick leaves the field of play after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on December 5, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AF

 

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has been appointed coach of Austria’s national team, the federation said Friday, but he will continue in a consultancy role at the club.

Rangnick joined United as interim manager in November last year and will move into an advisory position after Ajax coach Erik ten Hag comes in as the new permanent manager.

The 63-year-old German “will combine the job with his consultancy role at Old Trafford as planned,” United said in a statement.

The Austrian federation said Rangnick had been given a two-year deal that will be extended to four years if he secures qualification for the 2024 European championship.

“We are very pleased that in Ralf Rangnick we have been able to attract an outstanding expert in international football,” Austrian federation president Gerhard Milletich said.

United’s already slim hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League and securing a Champions League spot took another blow with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Thursday.

AFP

Man United Top-Four Hopes Unrealistic, Says Rangnick

In this file photo, Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick looks on during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 27, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

 

Ralf Rangnick said on Wednesday that Manchester United must face up to the reality their top-four hopes have likely disappeared as they prepare to take on Chelsea this week without a swathe of key players.

Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho have joined the Red Devils’ lengthy list of absentees for Thursday’s rearranged Premier League clash with Thomas Tuchel’s team.

United are returning to Old Trafford wounded by back-to-back losses at Liverpool and Arsenal, which have all but ended any faint hopes of reaching next season’s Champions League.

READ ALSORussia Cuts Gas Supplies To Poland, Bulgaria Over Ukraine

“I don’t think it makes sense now to still speak and speculate about the Champions League,” United interim manager Rangnick told a press conference.

“We need to be realistic.

“Even if we win all four games, it’s still not in our own hands. But what is in our own hands is the way that we play, the level of performance.

“Even for the next season it’s important to finish this season on the best possible note.”

The German, who is set to remain at Old Trafford in an advisory role next season with current Ajax boss Erik ten Hag in the managerial hotseat, said United would still be an attractive destination for players despite their likely absence from the Champions League.

“The renewal of the contract of Bruno (Fernandes) showed that it’s still possible — this club is an attractive club and with a new manager (Erik ten Hag),” he said.

“With a new approach, with a new manager and the way he wants to play, this is still a massively interesting club.

“I am looking forward to help both Erik and the club, and everyone at the club, to get the best and to change the whole approach again next season so that Manchester United can be a top club again.”

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw remain absent as does midfielder Fred, following a negative reaction after returning to training.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a doubt for the match, which captain Maguire and Sancho will also miss.

The injury issues mean Rangnick will lean on United’s youth system.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, featured at Liverpool and 17-year-old Alejandro Garnacho has been on the bench recently, with Alvaro Fernandez, 19, another pushing to be involved.

AFP

Man Utd Confirms Appointment Of Ten Hag As Manager

Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP
Ajax’s Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP

 

Erik ten Hag will leave Ajax to become Manchester United manager next season, the English giants confirmed on Thursday.

The 52-year-old, who has signed a three-year contract, faces a huge task to revive the Red Devils fortunes after a fifth consecutive trophyless season.

The Dutchman becomes the fifth permanent manager at Old Trafford since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 sent the 20-time English champions into decline.

Ten Hag is on course to win his third league title with Ajax and took the four-time European champions to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 for the first time in 22 years.

READ ALSO: Man City Back On Top As Arsenal Rekindle Champions League Dreams

“It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead,” said Ten Hag.

“I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”

United sit sixth in the Premier League, 23 points behind leaders Manchester City, and are unlikely to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The club have been looking for a permanent manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in October.

Ralf Rangnick was appointed interim boss for the remainder of the season, but the German has been unable to inspire any improvement in United’s performance.

Rangnick has been fiercely critical of the standard of the United squad in recent weeks, claiming after Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat by Liverpool that United are “six years” behind their rivals.

Squad overhaul

An overhaul of the squad is expected in the coming months with Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all out of contract and Nemanja Matic having already announced his decision to leave at the end of the season.

A summer of long-needed change will put Ten Hag’s ability to work constructively with the club’s new CEO Richard Arnold, technical director Darren Fletcher and football director John Murtough immediately to the test.

“During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth,” said Murtough.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that. ”

The future of Cristiano Ronaldo is also uncertain.

Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in his first season back at Old Trafford, where he enjoyed a glorious first spell between 2003 and 2009.

The 37-year-old still has one year left on his contract, but may not be keen to miss out on Champions League football in one his few remaining seasons at the top of the game.

 

AFP

Man Utd Target Erik ten Hag Suffers Dutch Cup Final Defeat With Ajax

File photo of Erik ten Hag /AFP

 

Erik ten Hag, the man widely tipped to become the next Manchester United manager, suffered defeat on Sunday when his Ajax team lost 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Cup final.

Ajax opened the scoring through Ryan Gravenberch in the 23rd minute before Dusan Tadic saw a goal ruled out just before half-time.

PSV then hit back with two goals in quick succession through Erick Gutierrez in the 48th minute and Cody Gakpo two minutes later.

Ajax had another effort scrubbed off by VAR just before the hour, this time Davy Klaassen was the unlucky player.

READ ALSOWorld Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Thrash Egypt In First Leg

For PSV, it was a first Cup triumph since 2012 and their 10th overall.

Defending champions Ajax, the 20-time cup winners, are still on course to the Dutch league. They hold a four-point lead over PSV.

Ten Hag is reportedly the overwhelming favourite to take over at Manchester United next season.

The 52-year-old Ajax manager is seen as fitting the profile the United board desire to restore the glory days the club enjoyed under Alex Ferguson.

AFP