Erik ten Hag could be about to save the Glazers millions at Manchester United

Erik ten Hag in profile as Man Utd 'open talks' with Ajax boss

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Erik ten Hag has impressed Manchester United during his job interview and, now, could be about to save the Glazers millions in the process. The Dutchman is leading the charge to be named Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement at Old Trafford this summer. And that’s despite the Red Devils also admiring Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique.

Manchester United relieved Solskjaer of his duties back in November, just months after the Norwegian had signed a three-year contract extension with the club.

And they’re now doing their homework when it comes to bringing in a successor, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick not under consideration for the role.

Pochettino is admired, with interest in the current Paris Saint-Germain boss dating back to when he ruled the roost at Southampton.

Lopetegui’s fine work at Sevilla has made him a potential candidate as well, even though he suffered during his spell at Real Madrid after replacing Zinedine Zidane in 2018.

And Enrique, who guided Barcelona to treble glory in 2015 by coaxing the best from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, is also in the running.

While that’s the case, however, it’s Ten Hag who is now in pole position to take charge of United.

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The 52-year-old is eyeing a new challenge and a fresh adventure after nearly five years at Ajax, where he’s won two league titles despite the club often selling their best players.

Now, if United do go for Ten Hag, the Dutchman is likely to save the Glazers millions in cash.

Firstly, because of his release clause. Having signed a new Ajax contract last year, it will take £4million to prise him away from the Johan Cruyff Arena.

While that’s still a significant investment, especially as United will have to hire some new coaches as well, it’s a low amount for a club with such vast wealth.

Compare it to Pochettino, who would cost in the region of £18m, and it’s easy to see why the Glazers may be tempted by a cheaper alternative.

According to The Times, Ten Hag made it clear during his recent job interview that he wanted to implement a playing style on the squad.

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Not since the days when Louis van Gaal was in charge did the Red Devils have consistency in their game, with the eras of both Mourinho and Solskjaer devoid of tactical imagination.

And Ten Hag has made it clear he cares more about that than big-money transfers.

United are likely to overhaul their squad this summer with the futures of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani all up in the air.

But Ten Hag, it seems, won’t demand huge money to reinforce the squad – instead being willing to operate with what he already has.

Given the Glazers have spent over £1billion since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down nine years ago, that will be music to their ears.

Just last summer alone United spent lavishly on bringing in the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo from Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Juventus respectively.

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The year before, in 2020, the Red Devils recruited Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, Amad and Facundo Pellistri.

And United also backed Solskjaer with the marquee arrivals of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in 2019.

Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Angel Di Maria have also been blockbuster transfer deals during the Glazers’ regime.

Yet Ten Hag may decide to look for bargain buys instead, with the Dutchman’s main priority getting the team on the same page together.

United may have to act quickly to hire Ten Hag, however, with Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan insisting other teams are eyeing the Ajax manager as well.

“There are three major opportunities for Erik ten Hag,” Van der Kraan told Sky Sports. “Manchester United is only one of them.

“I don’t want to dampen the excitement in England but maybe United have not done all the work yet.

“Yes, they’ve had positive talks with Ten Hag but so have two other major clubs in Europe.

“These are clubs who play Champions League football and who have chances to win titles in their own country.

“One of those clubs is very concrete for Ten Hag, and I think that is on mainland Europe – not in England.

“I know for a fact that Ten Hag is very excited about that job too.”

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