‘We would have liked to have kept him for longer’: Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar admits the Dutch giants did not want to lose Erik ten Hag as boss following his confirmation as the next Manchester United manager
Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar has revealed that Ajax were reluctant to lose Erik ten Hag following his confirmation as the next Manchester United manager.
United revealed Ten Hag as their new manager from this summer where he will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will move upstairs to a more behind-the-scenes role at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag has agreed a three-year deal with an option for a fourth having built a reputation by restoring Ajax back to top dogs in Holland, as well as a memorable run to the Champions League semi-final in 2019.
Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar (left) would have liked Erik ten Hag (right) to stay longer at Ajax
Van der Sar, an Old Trafford favourite following his trophy-laden spell at the club between 2005 and 2011, is the chief executive of the Dutch giants and admits that losing the 52-year-old has come as a huge blow to the Amsterdam outfit.
‘Four and a half years is a good amount of time, but we would have liked to have kept Erik at Ajax for longer,’ he told the Ajax website.
‘He is going to make the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world, in a fantastic league.
‘We owe Erik a lot of thanks for what he has achieved with Ajax so far, but we are not done yet. At the end of the season, I will look back more extensively on his departure. For now, what matters is the final games of the season in which we all want to bring home the league title.’
Ten Hag will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick this summer at the Old Trafford outfit
Ten Hag revealed his delight of the confirmation of the deal but insists his mind will still be fully focused on guiding Ajax to a third title in four seasons that would fire them back into the Champions League group stage next term.
‘I’m happy that it has been finalised and that it has been officially announced,’ Ten Hag said. ‘That clarity is important. But I only have one interest now and that’s these last five games.
‘I want to finish my time here on a positive note, by winning the league. By doing so, we’ll qualify directly for the Champions League. Ajax belongs there.’
The Dutchman’s appointment has been expected for some time since Sportsmail revealed a month ago that he had been interviewed for the job having moved ahead of Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.
But Ten Hag will remain in charge of Ajax until the end of the season as he looks to depart with a third league title in four seasons
United’s football director John Murtough said: ‘During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the…
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