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Erik ten Hag rejected club with "better foundation" for Manchester United

Erik ten Hag rejected club with
© Reuters
Erik ten Hag reveals that he turned down offers from a club with a "better foundation" to become Manchester United's next manager.

Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that he turned down offers from a club with a "better foundation" to take the reins at Old Trafford.

Alongside the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique, Ten Hag was always considered one of the frontrunners to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent successor.

Last month, it was announced that the 52-year-old had agreed a three-year contract with the Red Devils from next season onwards, when Ralf Rangnick will move into a consultancy role.

Ten Hag will not be leading Man United into the Champions League next term, and they could still be overtaken by West Ham United to finish seventh on the final day of the Premier League season.

The former Ajax boss is relishing the challenge that lies ahead, though, and he has now confirmed that he opted to take the Man United job despite attractive offers from elsewhere.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag reacts in April 2021© Reuters

Speaking during an interview with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Ten Hag said: "I had chances to work at a different club, with a better foundation.

"But I chose United. Things have to get addressed there and that's a challenge. The club and I are on the same wavelength about how I want to do this."

The former Go Ahead Eagles and Utrecht boss has won six trophies during his four-and-a-half year spell in charge of Ajax, but he has affirmed that he is ready to handle added pressure of managing the 20-time English champions.

"That has an impact, but it should never have an influence in the dressing room," Ten Hag responded when asked about the influence of outside noise.

"Maybe the criticism is fiercer there. The club simply has a bigger fanbase and more reach than Ajax, because England is much bigger, the Premier League is much bigger and basically everything is much bigger.

"Compared to the Netherlands it's factor two, three, four or maybe even more. Fortunately, I've been getting more and more baggage on how to deal with certain forces."

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag pictured on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Ten Hag is already getting to work on his vision for Man United and could reportedly be in the stands for the club's final game of the 2021-22 season against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The 52-year-old leaves Ajax having taken charge of 215 games for the Amsterdam giants since 2017, with his final match ending in a 2-2 draw versus Vitesse at the weekend.

Ten Hag has won 159, drawn 27 and lost 29 of his Ajax matches as manager, claiming three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Beker crowns and one Dutch Super Cup in the process.

The Dutchman has also confirmed that he has already been in contact with some players at Man United ahead of a significant summer of change, with Paul Pogba, Lee Grant, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all set to depart.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to stay on under Ten Hag, and recent reports have claimed that Man United have held talks over bringing Jurrien Timber to the club this summer.

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