Ajax’s Erik ten Hag is leading the race to become the next permanent manager of Manchester United, according to a new report.
Many believed that Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino was favourite to take the role at that point but according to The Times’ Henry Winter, it is the Dutchman who is leading the race.
Furthermore, Winter claims that outgoing executive vice chairman Ed Woodward will be instrumental in bringing Ten Hag to the club.
‘[Woodward] will stay on the football board until the end of the season, helping his successor Richard Arnold settle in,’ Winter says.
‘His final act may be involvement in the appointment of a long-term manager with Erik ten Hag the leading contender.
‘Ajax’s widely-admired 51-year-old manager fits Woodward’s three-point list of a manager being somebody with a record of “winning trophies, attacking football and giving youth a chance”.’
Fans have been celebrating the news, announced today, that Woodward is finally leaving the club at the end of January and that he will not be kept on in a consultancy role. They will not be impressed to hear just an hour or so later that his tentacles will extend to the most crucial decision the club will have to make for years.
They could rightfully ask, after all the appalling decisions Woodward has made in appointing successive managers – not to mention the dreadful mismanagement of transfers and player contracts – why on earth he will be kept on to help guide the appointment as his ‘final act’ at the club.
It would surely be better if there was a clean slate and for Woodward’s indelibly discredited fingerprints to be as far away from the new managerial appointment as possible.
‘He still feels so “addicted” to United that it would be difficult to consider, certainly in the short term, a job at another club,’ Winter says.
‘He first needs to untangle himself mentally from the role which has obsessed him for the past nine years in particular.’
Many will be very excited to learn that Ten Hag is in pole for the job and would prefer Woodward to ‘untangle himself’ before he has a chance to botch yet another contract negotiation, especially one as important as this.