Manchester United are said to have held talks with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag about becoming their new permanent manager.
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The talks with the Dutch coach were said to be ‘positive’ as he is now the leading contender to take charge at Old Trafford in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique are all report to be on Manchester United’s shortlist but details of Erik ten Hag’s interview have started to leak out.
Here is more information from our partners in the UK at Sky Sports:
Dutch coach impresses in talks
“Manchester United held ‘positive’ talks with Erik ten Hag on Monday – with the club hierarchy thought to be impressed by his vision and philosophy…
“Ten Hag has a contract at Ajax that runs until the summer of 2023, but United’s good relationship with the Dutch club – former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is chief executive – allowed them to speak to him.
“The club want to make a decision on their next permanent manager as soon as possible. However, they have not put a formal deadline on the process, which is being led by Darren Fletcher and John Murtough.”
Ten Hag, 52, has done a fine job at Ajax over the last five years and has led them on deep runs in the UEFA Champions League, is pushing to win three Eredivisie titles in a row and has also developed a clear playing philosophy while developing superb young talent at the Amsterdam giants.
But there’s no doubt that a move to Manchester United would be a huge step up for him. That said, the fact these talks have already happened and Erik ten Hag is being talked about positively shows that United are ramping up their managerial search and he could be a much easier hire than Pochettino, Enrique or Lopetegui.
Pogba reveals depression, constant uncertainty over Man United role
In other Manchester United news, Paul Pogba, 29, has revealed he suffered from depression when Jose Mourinho was manager of the Old Trafford club.
Mourinho publicly called out Pogba on many occasions and the French star was often left out of the team. Speaking to French outlet Le Figaro while on international duty with Les Bleus, Pogba had the following to say about Mourinho’s time in charge at United.
“Completely, and several times during my career,” Pogba said when asked if he has suffered from depression. “I have been through it, but we don’t talk about it. Sometimes you don’t even know you have depression, you just want to be isolated, to be all alone, these are the unmistakable signs. From a personal perspective, that started when I was with Jose Mourinho at Manchester.
“You ask yourself if there is something wrong with you, because you have never experienced these moments in your life. “Of course we earn a lot of money and we don’t complain, really. But that does not prevent you from going through these moments in your life – like the whole world – which are more difficult than others. In football it is not acceptable but we are not superheroes, we are only human beings.”
Pogba also added that his last five seasons at Manchester United have not been what he hoped for and with his contract running out this summer, it appears he is ready to move on.
“You have to be honest, the last five seasons have not satisfied me – really not at all,” Pogba said. “This year it is dead, we won’t win anything. Whether it is with Manchester United or at another club, I want to win trophies… It’s simple with France, I play and I play in my position – I know my role and I feel the confidence of the coach and the players.
“It’s normal to feel a difference at Manchester United because it’s hard to be consistent when you often have a change to your position, or the team system, or your partners. I get along very well with [France boss Didier Deschamps], he gave me a role that I know, but at Manchester United do I really have a role? I ask the question but I don’t have an answer.”
Pogba also spoke positively about a potential move to PSG when asked: “Why not? It’s always nice to play with your team-mates in the national team and club.”
Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports say that two Premier League clubs, as well as Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona, have already shown interest in Pogba, so he will have plenty of options this summer if (as expected) he does move on from Manchester United on a free transfer.