Manchester United have appointed Erik ten Hag as their new manager.
ESPN reported in early April that United were set to finalise the appointment of Ten Hag and the Dutchman has agreed a three-year deal to take over at Old Trafford, with the option of another year.
Ten Hag becomes United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, following David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Former players Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick have also held caretaker positions during that time.
“It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead,” Ten Hag said. “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.”
Sources have told ESPN that United football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher led the search for a new boss with new CEO Richard Arnold only engaging in the process “in the final stages.”
Murtough and Fletcher, according to sources, chose Ten Hag as their No.1 candidate because of all the options considered he was the one who “most closely aligned with the club’s identity and strategy.”
They were particularly impressed with Ten Hag’s record at Ajax, his style of football and his ability to improve young players. Sources have told ESPN that during negotiations, Ten Hag set out a “compelling long-term vision” for a successful, exciting team.
“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,” Murtough said of the appointment.
“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.
“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”
Ten Hag will stay in charge of Ajax until the end of the season before taking over at United. Ajax lead the Eredivisie table and sit four points clear of second-place PSV Eindhoven with five matches remaining. Ajax end their campaign with a trip to Vitesse on May 15.
“I’m happy that it has been finalised and that it has been officially announced,” Ten Hag said of his move to United. “That clarity is important.
“But I only have one interest now and that’s these last five games. I want to finish my time here on a positive note, by winning the league. By doing so, we’ll qualify directly for the Champions League. Ajax belongs there.”
Ten Hag, 52, has been at Ajax since December 2017, winning the league and cup double in 2019 and 2021, and leading them to the Champions League semifinals in 2019 after knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.