It's official: Ajax coach Erik ten Hag transferring to Manchester United
Ajax trainer Erik ten Hag will transfer from the Amsterdam football club to Manchester United after the conclusion of this season. Both clubs confirmed the departure of the 52-year-old coach on Thursday. He has been working at Ajax since January 2018, with five matches left on the current calendar.
Ten Hag signed a three-year contract with the English team, with an option for another season.
"I am happy that it has been finalized and that it has been officially announced," said Ten Hag. "That clarity is important. But I only have one interest now, and those are the last five games. I want to finish in a nice way, meaning with the championship. With the title, we will qualify directly for the Champions League. That's where Ajax belongs."
Ajax currently leads the Eredivisie with 4 points ahead of PSV. On Sunday, Ajax lost 2-1 to the Eindhoven club in the KNVB Cup final.
There have been rumors that Ten Hag was moving to Manchester United for weeks. The English club was looking for a new coach for next season after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November. German Ralf Rangnick is acting as interim coach for the rest of the season.
Ten Hag still had a contract with Ajax until the summer of 2023. Ajax tried to keep the trainer from Haaksbergen by offering him a contract extension. But Ten Hag decided to accept the offer from Manchester United. He wanted to keep news of the switch to himself until after this season, but it leaked to the press in the past weeks.
"Four and a half years is a good period, but we would have liked to have kept Erik at Ajax longer," said general manager Edwin van der Sar. "He is taking the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world, which plays in a fantastic competition. We owe Erik a lot of thanks for what he has achieved with Ajax so far, but we are not done yet. For now, we're focused on the last games of the season in which we all want to prolong the national title."
Ten Hag won the "double" twice with Ajax in 2019 and 2021.
Reporting by ANP.