Prospective Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has suggested his future is up in the air after his director of football at Ajax, Marc Overmars, was forced to quit the club.
Ten Hag has been strongly tipped to be one of the two leading candidates for the permanent United position, along with Paris Saint Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino.
But such was the excellent working relationship between the Ajax head coach and Overmars that some reports even suggested that he would stipulate that he would only join United if Overmars were to come as well.
The former Arsenal man’s absence, following revelations of inappropriate sexual behaviour, has upset the apple cart in Amsterdam and could well simplify Ten Hag’s decision to join United at the end of the season, should he be offered the job.
‘Marc Overmars and me were definitely a strong duo. But to think about this now… it’s not about me now. We need to process what happened”, he told De Telegraaf’s Mike Verweij (via Fabrizio Romano).
‘I will start looking at the consequences. I won’t think about my future now’.
Erik ten Hag on his future: “Marc Overmars and me were definitely a strong duo. But to think about this now… it's not about me now. We need to process what happened”, he told @MikeVerweij. 🔴 #Ajax
“I will start looking at the consequences. I won't think about my future now”. pic.twitter.com/SBhJlSYu0f
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 9, 2022
Who becomes United’s next permanent manager now appears to be a two horse race between the 52-year-old and Pochettino, with rumours around Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers having fallen away in recent months.
A recent poll showed that fans are 79.4% in favour of the Dutchman for the job and he is also believed to be the preference of interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will consult on the appointment at the end of his tenure.
With all this momentum in Ten Hag’s favour, it is interesting that all the papers are currently leading with a story about how the United players would prefer Pochettino to be their new boss.
This hints of the players, or sources close to them, using the media to try to influence the board’s decision on the matter.
Pochettino also has the advantage of Premier League experience with both Southampton and Spurs, the latter of which he led to a Champions League final.