Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick coy on possibility of Erik ten Hag becoming Man Utd manager

Krishan Davis
Ralf Rangnick claims he is yet to discuss Man Utd's next manager
Ralf Rangnick claims he is yet to discuss Man Utd's next manager / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Ralf Rangnick has called Ajax's Erik ten Hag 'one of the top coaches in Europe' and revealed he knows who he wants to become Manchester United's next manager, but claimed he is yet to discuss the topic with the club's hierarchy.

Interim boss Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, with the plan for him to take the reins until the end of the season while helping to decide on a long-term successor in the background.

90min reported this week that Ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino remain the leading candidates for the role, although the former in particular has impressed recently-appointed United chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough.

The Dutchman has guided Ajax to two Eredivisie titles and famously came within a whisker of reaching a Champions League final before being denied by Tottenham in 2019. The Amsterdam giants are currently top of the league once again and impressively navigated their group in Europe by winning six out of six matches.

Ten Hag's playing style, demeanour off the field and ability to nurture young players are all viewed as attractive qualities by Man Utd, and 90min understands his appointment at Old Trafford would be backed by Rangnick.

However, speaking to Sky Sports, the German claimed he had not discussed Ten Hag or any other names with Murtough as yet, although he did reserve special praise for the 52-year-old's work in Amsterdam.

"So far we haven't at all spoken about that, nobody, not just [United football director] John Murtough but nobody else, we haven't had that topic in the last weeks and months since I'm here," he said.

"I know my opinion [of who should take the job] but so far we haven't spoken about it so this is what I can tell you.

"I don't know him [Ten Hag], to start with, as a person. Obviously, I see the development at Ajax since he's been there, I know a little bit about his work when he was with Bayern Munich and that he is one of the top coaches in Europe that's obvious but there are a few other top coaches.

"As I said, we haven't spoken about any new manager so far, therefore we also didn't speak about him."

Man Utd are aware that Ten Hag will seek a fresh challenge in the summer, and there has been minimal pushback from his current employers over the past six months. There is believed to be a mutual interest between United and the Ajax manager.

The final decision on the next manager is understood to be down to Murtough, though he is set to lean on his staff and confidants to get the decision right. One such confidant is Rangnick, who he has grown closer to in the last few months.

Rangnick will lead United into the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon, as they chase a spot in the top four against Premier League leaders City.