Van Gaal warns Man United managerial target Ten Hag against joining 'commercial club'

Ajax boss Ten Hag among names linked to top job at Old Trafford with Rangnick's tenure set to end after current season

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Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has urged Ajax's Erik ten Hag to think twice about taking up the manager's role at Manchester United, asking him to choose a football club over a "commercial" one.

Van Gaal won the FA Cup during his spell in charge at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016. He suggested the current Ajax coach should consider his options carefully after becoming one of the leading candidates to replace the interim Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

United want to appoint his permanent successor before the summer and aim to speak to a number of candidates, with Ten Hag understood to have met with the Premier League club last week.

"Erik ten Hag is a great coach and that is always good for Manchester United," Van Gaal, who was replaced by Jose Mourinho at United, said ahead of Netherlands' friendly at home to Germany on Tuesday.

"But Manchester United are a commercial club, so it's a difficult choice for a coach ... he would be better going to a football club. I'm not going to advise him, he'll call me himself. But he must choose a football club and not a commercial club."

Ten Hag, 52, was appointed by Ajax during the 2017-18 campaign and led them to the Dutch league title in 2019 and 2021, as well as the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.

Former Tottenham and current Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino, Spain coach Luis Enrique and Sevilla's Julen Lopetegui have also been linked with the vacant post.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was mentioned as a possible candidate due to the turmoil at the London club following sanctions imposed on Russian owner Roman Abramovich but he has reaffirmed his commitment to the Blues.

Whoever takes over at Old Trafford will have his task cut out, with senior players including Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani all out of contract at the end of the season.

The future of 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo, who rejoined the club in August, has also been the subject of speculation after the club's disappointing season.

United last week exited the Champions League, beaten by Atletico Madrid in the last 16, and are struggling to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

Updated: March 29, 2022, 6:01 AM
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