Erik ten Hag’s ‘Man Utd first target’ recently blasted over ‘idiotic behaviour’

Erik ten Hag is closely linked to the permanent Manchester United manager and, despite criticism from some quarters, would be looking to bring in a current Ajax star if he were to take over Old Trafford

Erik ten Hag would try to sign Antony if he leaves Ajax
Erik ten Hag would try to sign Antony if he leaves Ajax

Erik ten Hag is keen to take Ajax winger Antony on should he leave the Dutch side this summer, despite some reservations.

The Dutchman is strongly associated with the Old Trafford dugout as Manchester United consider a permanent boss in the coming months. Ralf Rangnick’s interim spell comes to an end and Ten Hag is among the favorites should United be able to pull him out of Amsterdam.

Ten Hag has worked at the Johan Cruyff Arena since 2017 and has helped Ajax dominate domestically and impress in Europe. He has had to rebuild his side after stars like Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie De Jong moved on but he has done so effectively. Brazilian Anthony is one of the key figures in this current squad.

Ten Hag spent just under £13million to sign the 22-year-old from Sao Paulo and wants to continue working with him even if he leaves Ajax, the report telegraph. Antony has scored 12 times this year, including twice in the Champions League. The Dutch have made it a habit to sign young players before developing them and selling them for huge profits.

However, Anthony has been warned that “idiotic” decisions could derail his move to a European heavyweight. After scoring a crucial goal at the weekend, he was sent off for two unnecessary yellow cards and has seen his behavior criticized. “Suppose we stand together as a scout in the stands Manchester City or Liverpool and we’re looking at Antony,” said Dutch international Rene van der Gijp. “What do you think we would say when we come back on Monday? We don’t take that. Don’t you see Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane or Mohamed Salah there?

If Ten Hag were to move on, it would mean his new employers might have to pay a hefty fee to sign Antony. That employer could soon be the Red Devils, with Ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino seen as the front two for the job. The 52-year-old has kept his future secret for several months despite the speculation.

The winger has been at Ajax since 2020

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“Right now I’m just working with Ajax and I’m not worried about the future,” Ten Hag said recently. “The focus is on this season. I shouldn’t be the subject now. The theme is: how are we going to win games?” He also claimed earlier this season: “I’m very happy at Ajax and I give everything for the club every day. I know you can’t plan anything in football, but you have to make an extraordinary and exceptional offer if I want to change my plans.”

United’s forward options already include the likes of Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga, two men who have operated from wide areas. Marcus Rashford, desperately out of shape, is another option. The Red Devils will also look to add a No.9 this summer as Edinson Cavani’s contract expires.

However, Ten Hag has been advised by former United boss Louis van Gaal to avoid a route into the Manchester red half. He spent two seasons at Old Trafford but was sacked after winning FA Cup amid heavy criticism of his playing style.

“Erik ten Hag is a great coach and that’s always good for Manchester United, but Manchester United is a commercial club so it’s a tough choice for a manager. [Ten Hag] better go to a football club,” said Van Gaal. “I will not advise him, he will call me himself. We have conversations with each other. But he should choose a football club and not a commercial club.”

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