Erik Ten Hag is close to agreeing a deal to become Manchester United manager, according to reports.
Many speculate the 52 year-old coach will take over from Ralf Rangnick in the summer, but while the deal is close there are reports that the Dutchman’s demands are part of the reason the deal hasn’t been sealed yet.
What are Ten Hag’s demands? Let’s have a look.
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Ten Hag wants Mitchell van der Gaag to be his assistant
Mitchell van der Gaag is currently Erik Ten Hag’s assistant at Ajax, having joined the first-team coaching staff at the start of 2021/22 after working as reserve coach in Amsterdam.
It is understood that Ten Hag wants Van der Gaag to continue in his role as assistant coach at Manchester United, and would like the Red Devils to ensure that he is brought over.
Steve McClaren has allegedly spoken to Ten Hag about working on his coaching staff. McClaren famously was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager from 1999 to 2001 before striking out on a management career of his own. However it is unknown if he is in Ten Hag’s plans.
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Ten Hag wants his whole coaching staff from Ajax
Allegedly Ten Hag doesn’t just want Van der Gaag but his entire coaching staff from Ajax. This is notable as United often leave one or two former players or former coaches on the staff, such as Mike Phelan continuing from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Ralf Rangnick. If Ten Hag wants his entire staff brought over then a lot of the current coaching infrastructure at United would have to change.
Ten Hag wants Robin van Persie on his staff
It’s not just his Ajax coaches that Ten Hag wants as well. but allegedly he wants his compatriot Robin van Persie, currently an assistant coach at Feyenoord, to join his coaching team should he take over at United.
Van Persie is a legend in English football and played three seasons for United, winning the Premier League title under Sir Alex Ferguson in his debut campaign. He remains a beloved figure by the fanbase and would be a good “local” coach for Ten Hag to help him get to grips with the way things are in England, similarly to how Mikel Arteta assisted Pep Guardiola when he first joined the Premier League in 2016.
However according to The Times, United fear complications due to Brexit could prevent Van Persie from obtaining the necessary work permit to take up the coaching role.
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Ten Hag wants control of transfers
Ten Hag’s final demand, according to Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan, is control over the playing staff. That would seemingly entail having the final decision over who comes and who goes in the transfer market.
This would be a revolutionary thing for Ten Hag to be granted, as the Glazer family haven’t given anyone final say on transfers since Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill left the club in 2013. Since then there has always been a friction between United and their manager starting with David Moyes and Ryan Giggs turning down Thiago and going all the way to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having to wait 18 months for Jadon Sancho and being denied Declan Rice (or any defensive midfielder) outright.