Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has been urged to turn down any advances from Newcastle and only consider offers from ‘clubs like Manchester City or Manchester United’.
The Northern Echo’s Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson reported over the weekend that the Magpies had sounded out the possibility of appointing the 51-year-old, as well as his sporting director Marc Overmars.
Ten Hag, who has previously turned down Tottenham Hotspur, is still under contract at the Johann Cruyff ArenA for another two years, so Newcastle would need to pay a compensation package if they are to entice him to Tyneside.
The 51-year-old led Ajax to the semi-finals of the 2018/19 Champions League, claiming the scalps of Juventus and Real Madrid along the way. He has also steered the team to two Eredivisie titles and twice been named the Dutch league’s manager of the year (via Transfermarkt).
Speaking on Studio Voetbal, Dutch journalist Arno Vermeulen admitted that he was baffled by the links and feels that the ‘much smarter’ move for Ten Had would be to wait for an offer from a club which has already ‘established’ itself at the top level.
“Why in God’s name would he go to Newcastle, I wonder?” he said, as quoted by Ajax Showtime. “He’s really smart. He started working at Ajax in the top of the Netherlands.”
Vermeulen later added: “Wouldn’t it be much smarter to wait for clubs like Manchester City or Manchester United? Clubs that are established. If you win prizes with that for a few years, that is very valuable.”
The attraction of Newcastle is clear. It’s a transformative project being bankrolled by immensely wealthy owners, and while they may not be ‘established’ now, they may well have the means to be challenging for the top prizes by the end of the decade.
Will Ten Hag be interested in the job? It’s almost surprising that he’s still at Ajax more than two years on from that incredible Champions League run, but this might be the opportunity which tempts him away from Amsterdam. His CV certainly makes for good reading.
In other news, read this major update on an another managerial candidate
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