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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Ajax consider raid on Erik ten Hag coaching staff to poach Man Utd man as new manager

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Ajax are looking to Old Trafford to resolve their current crisis, with Mitchell van der Gaag on their shortlist.

When Erik ten Hag was in charge at Ajax, they were the model club. There was a reason Manchester United hired him, with clubs across Europe hoping to lure him away.

Since he left the Dutch champions, it has all been downhill for Ajax, who sacked successor Alfred Schreuder within months.

This season they are on an alarming downturn, ranking a lowly 16th in the Eredivisie table with one victory from six games.

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Ajax line up alternative

Ajax manager Maurice Stijn is under heavy pressure, and the club are so desperately short of ideas, they have turned to Louis van Gaal as an advisor, The Mail report, despite his battle with illness.

Former CEO Edwin van der Sar left the club last year, and Ajax are trying to plot a way forward, for if results do not improve.

According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Manchester United assistant Mitchell van der Gaag is a prominent name on Ajax’s shortlist.


Van der Gaag worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was instrumental in his success in the Netherlands.

He is an integral part of Ten Hag’s coaching team at Manchester United too, along with Steve McClaren.

Dilemma for United

Erik ten Hag would be desperate to keep Van der Gaag on his staff, however, the assistant boss may be tempted by the challenge.

Van der Gaag has experience as a manager previously, with Excelsior and NAC in the Netherlands, and with Maritimo in Portugal.

He took over Ajax’s youth team in 2021, before being promoted to Erik ten Hag’s assistant, and following him to Manchester United.

Van der Gaag may be happy at United now, but he will also be keen to get back into management one day, and the opportunity to coach Ajax may be too good to turn down, and may not come his way again.

It would be a setback for Ten Hag to lose him, at a time he needs his trusted coaches around him. On the other side of the coin, it could be an opportunity to find fresh input.

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