Erik ten Hag and Pep Lijnders in Consideration for Ajax Managerial Role, with Ten Hag Also Linked to Manchester United Exit

Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag and Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders are both being considered as potential candidates for the managerial position at Ajax.

Following a challenging season for Ajax that sees them at the bottom of the Eredivisie table, the Dutch club’s new chief executive, Alex Kroes, is actively seeking a replacement for current coach John van ‘t Schip. Lijnders, who intends to depart Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp steps down, is viewed as a strong contender for the role.

However, sources within Ajax suggest that Kroes may also extend an offer to Ten Hag as an alternative route out of Manchester United. Ajax, currently fifth in the Eredivisie, is not willing to pay compensation for their new manager. The decision regarding Ten Hag’s future at United will ultimately be made by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the club’s new co-owner, at the end of the season.

Despite having a year remaining on his contract, Ten Hag may consider leaving Manchester if he doesn’t receive assurances about his position. Despite previous success at Ajax, including three consecutive Dutch titles and a near-miss in the 2019 Champions League final, Ten Hag has faced challenges at United.

Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group is already exploring other managerial options, and if Ten Hag fails to secure European football for United next season, his fate may be sealed.

Meanwhile, Lijnders, known for his successful tenure as Klopp’s assistant, is eager for another opportunity at a top managerial role following a brief stint as coach of Dutch club NEC Nijmegen in 2018. His experience includes leading Liverpool to Carabao Cup victories and fostering a strong relationship with former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who is currently playing for Ajax.

While there is speculation about Lijnders potentially teaming up with former Ajax boss Frank de Boer, Kroes’ familiarity with Ten Hag’s situation in Manchester, through his association with Ten Hag’s agent, adds an intriguing dimension to Ajax’s managerial search.

Ultimately, the decision rests with Ajax as they weigh their options for a new manager, with both Ten Hag and Lijnders in contention for the role.

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