Man Utd confirm appointment of club legend as new assistant to Erik ten Hag

  • Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rene Hake confirmed as new assistants to Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag
  • Van Nistelrooy returns to Red Devils following memorable spell as player
  • Mitchell van der Gaag and Benni McCarthy leave Man Utd roles
Van Nistelrooy is back
Van Nistelrooy is back / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Manchester United have announced Ruud van Nistelrooy has returned to the club as an assistant manager to Erik ten Hag.

Van Nistelrooy scored a whopping 150 goals across 219 games for the Red Devils during an iconic five-year stay at the club during the mid-2000s.

Since retiring, he has pursued a career in coaching and was most recently the manager of PSV Eindhoven, but he left the club in 2023.

United confirmed Van Nistelrooy's return on Thursday, with former Go Ahead Eagles manager Rene Hake also joining as an assistant to Ten Hag. As a result, Mitchell van der Gaag and Benni McCarthy have left the club, though Steve McClaren and Darren Fletcher will remain part of the coaching setup.

Erik ten Hag, Mitchell van der Gaag, Steve McClaren
There's a backroom shakeup at Man Utd / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

"I am delighted that Rene and Ruud have agreed to join our project, adding a wealth of experience, knowledge and new energy to the staff. Now is a good time to refresh the coaching team as we look to build on the achievements of the past two years and push to the next level," Ten Hag told United club channels.

"Mitchell has decided that now is the right time for him to pursue his own ambitions in a number one position; I want to pay tribute to his fantastic service over the past two years, and also to Benni for his important contributions. We send them our thanks and best wishes for the future."

Sporting director Dan Ashworth added: "Together with Erik, we are working to strengthen all areas of our men's first-team operations, and refreshing the coaching staff is an important part of that.

"It's a particular pleasure to welcome Ruud back to the club where he enjoyed so much success as a player, and I know that he and Rene will help reinforce the winning mentality and high standards we are aiming for."