Ajax coach Mitchell van der Gaag is ready to join Manchester United along with Erik ten Hag, according to reports. The Red Devils are primed to embark on yet another era this summer. And Ten Hag is poised to become their new manager having fended off competition from the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique.
Manchester United have reached a verbal agreement with Ten Hag about taking over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the campaign.
And, now, the Daily Mail say Van der Gaag is poised to join him at Old Trafford.
The duo have been working at Ajax in recent years, helping the Eredivisie outfit dominate domestically and also re-emerge as a giant on the European stage.
Van der Gang played for the likes of PSV Eindhoven, NEC, Sparta Rotterdam, Motherwell, Utrecht, Maritimo and Al-Nassr during his playing days.
He retired in 2007 before then working with Maritimo as coach.
Since leaving them in 2012, he’s had spells at Belenenses, Ermis, Eindhoven, Excelsior, NAC, Jong Ajax and Ajax.
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And he’s now likely to work under Ten Hag as they try to win the Premier League title with United at the first time of asking.
The publication also notes Robin van Persie also in the frame to potentially take a role at United.
But acquiring a work permit for the former Arsenal and Fenerbahce hitman could be tricky, meaning any return to Old Trafford is very much up in the air.
If United do hire Van Persie, they’ll be sticking with a tradition they’ve had in place since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Former players have been part of the coaching staff under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Moyes brought Phil Neville with him upon taking over in 2013, with the pair previously working together at Everton.
Van Gaal hired Ryan Giggs as his No 2 when he secured the United job in 2014 following Moyes’ sacking.
And both Mourinho and Solskjaer had Michael Carrick on their bench, with the former midfielder retiring in 2017.
Ten Hag will be taking on the biggest challenge of his professional career when he becomes United boss.
They’re in trouble on the pitch, with results and performances under Rangnick worsening by the game.
And there are issues arising off it, too, with supporters planning more protests against the Glazers over the way they run the club.
Meanwhile, former Netherlands star Mario Melchiot has opened up on Ten Hag.
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And he feels that while he’s got the talent to succeed at United, he’s warned the Ajax boss things won’t be straightforward.
“Two years Ajax invited me to go to Miami to meet the first team and I sat with him,” the former right-back said.
“Speaking to him, he was very very kind, and I’m not a player of Ajax, but just as a person, he really really made me feel welcome.
“Having a conversation, I could go really far with him in the sense of talking about football, and the way his philosophy is about football.
“The way Ajax is playing, it’s always the same way, we play football, we keep the ball, and the team dictates the tempo and we dictate everything.
“A little bit what Man United is used to when they were on top of their game.
“The only difference is now, and I’ll be honest, the Eredivisie of Holland is not the Premier League.
“Why? Because you demand way more, tactically and technically he will put the structure down to what the team [will] expect.
“And at this moment, when I look at Man United, they look like a team that is lost.
“So that is going to be his job, because I don’t think they look like a team that is solid and knows what they’re doing.”