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Sport: United will turn to Ten Hag if they CANNOT seal a deal for Pochettino

Erik ten Hag insists he has heard NOTHING about the vacant United job

  Erik ten Hag insists he has heard NOTHING about the vacant United job The Red Devils have now begun their search for a new boss with Michael Carrick taking temporary charge, and Ajax boss Ten Hag is one of the favourites to take on the role. © Provided by Daily Mail ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( Erik ten Hag when asked if Man United don’t have to call him: “My focus is on Ajax, the rest only distracts” ???? #MUFCSo we are assured that you remain the Ajax manager? “It’s a weird question. I heard nothing about it [Utd job], so I can't think about it”. @TheEuropeanLad #Ajax pic.twitter.

MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Erik ten Hag is the alternative target for Manchester United if their No 1 choice, Mauricio Pochettino, does not become the club’s new manager next summer.

Pochettino is the favourite to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick in June, providing the Argentine can cut short his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

But Sportsmail understands United will turn to Ajax coach Ten Hag if the club are unsuccessful in their attempt to appoint Pochettino.

Erik ten Hag is the alternative target for Man United if they cannot get Mauricio Pochettino © Provided by Daily Mail Erik ten Hag is the alternative target for Man United if they cannot get Mauricio Pochettino United pondered whether a move to appoint Pochettino immediately but PSG won't allow it © Provided by Daily Mail United pondered whether a move to appoint Pochettino immediately but PSG won't allow it

Ten Hag is said to be interested in the United job and Ajax would not stand in his way if he wants to leave at the end of the season, even though the 51-year-old is under contract in Amsterdam until 2023.

Mauricio Pochettino predicted to become Man United's next manager

  Mauricio Pochettino predicted to become Man United's next manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked at the weekend after the 4-1 defeat at Watford, and Michael Carrick - part of the previous coaching staff - has taken over temporarily. During his stint in charge, United will look to appoint a caretaker boss until the end of the season, although Pochettino has quickly emerged as a potential candidate. © Provided by Daily Mail ( Sportsmail revealed that Pochettino, the former Tottenham coach, is interested in quitting Paris and taking up the vacancy at Old Trafford mid-season.

The two clubs enjoy a good relationship and Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar, the former United goalkeeper, played a key role in Donny van de Beek’s £40million move to Old Trafford.

Ten Hag is viewed as one of the most progressive coaches in Europe and was approached by Tottenham to replace Jose Mourinho before signing a contract extension with Ajax in April.

Rangnick, 63, is poised to be confirmed as United’s boss until the end of the season, when he will hand over to a permanent successor and take up a consultancy role.

United reached an agreement this week with Lokomotiv Moscow for Rangnick, the Russian club’s head of sports and development.

Ajax would not stand in his way if he wants to leave at the end of the season, despite his deal © Provided by Daily Mail Ajax would not stand in his way if he wants to leave at the end of the season, despite his deal

As reported by Sportsmail, Pochettino is United’s preferred candidate as permanent head coach after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last weekend.

Pochettino arrives in Manchester with PSG amid Man United speculation

  Pochettino arrives in Manchester with PSG amid Man United speculation The Argentine has heavily been linked with the Manchester United hotseat since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking and has arrived in the city for the Ligue 1 giants' European clash.The Argentine has heavily been linked with the Manchester United hotseat since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking on Sunday and has arrived in the city for the Ligue 1 giants' European clash at the Etihad Stadium.

But sources in Holland believe Ten Hag, 51, is a genuine rival to the Paris Saint-Germain boss in the race to land the job.

It is understood United have registered their interest in the Ajax boss.

Indeed, there is a growing concern at the Dutch club that Ten Hag — and his aides Mitchell van der Gaag and Michael Reiziger — would find the Old Trafford job too good to turn down. Sources also claim Ajax would not stand in his way next summer.

Ten Hag was approached by Tottenham to replace Jose Mourinho last summer, but he decided to sign a contract extension with Ajax until 2023.

Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar, the former United goalkeeper, will likely play a key role in any move for Ten Hag.

Pochettino is United’s (chief Ed Woodward pic) preferred candidate as permanent head coach © Provided by Daily Mail Pochettino is United’s (chief Ed Woodward pic) preferred candidate as permanent head coach Edwin van der Sar, the ex-United goalkeeper, will likely play a key role in any move for Ten Hag © Provided by Daily Mail Edwin van der Sar, the ex-United goalkeeper, will likely play a key role in any move for Ten Hag

United pondered whether a move to appoint Pochettino immediately would be an option but PSG will not let their season be disrupted.

PSG 'have been in contact with Zidane' in case Pochettino left

  PSG 'have been in contact with Zidane' in case Pochettino left Pochettino tops United's shortlist of replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on Sunday following a dreadful run of results in the Premier League. United announced their intention to appoint an interim coach until the end of the season but, as Sportsmail revealed on Monday, Pochettino is interested in taking up the vacancy right away.

The arrival of Ralf Rangnick as interim boss has bought United time to conduct a thorough recruitment process, though it’s believed that he would be interested in the job on a permanent basis.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers will also be considered.

Meanwhile, caretaker coach Michael Carrick was non-committal on Friday over his future at the club. Carrick will take charge of the trip to Chelsea while Rangnick waits for a work permit.

Carrick won his first game at Villarreal on Tuesday, but Paul Scholes voiced an opinion known to be shared by some players that Solskjaer isn’t the only one who should have paid the price for failure.

Rangnick's arrival as boss has bought Utd time to conduct a thorough recruitment process © Provided by Daily Mail Rangnick's arrival as boss has bought Utd time to conduct a thorough recruitment process

‘Anything after Sunday is not in my thoughts,’ said Carrick. ‘I can’t get distracted. This week has been busy and I haven’t had time to think. My focus has been on preparing the team.’

Carrick also defended Solskjaer’s time in charge. ‘One of the biggest things in Ole’s time was creating a culture that people don’t see,’ he added.

‘We were improving as a team and we finished well last season. Once the results started going, it went pretty quickly in terms of losing games which is a shame because everything gets overshadowed.’

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