EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United tell Erik ten Hag to look at their current backroom staff – and consider sticking with them – before he tries to push to bring back Steve McClaren, who he wants to reunite with at Old Trafford
- Erik ten Hag has been officially announced as Man United’s new manager
- The Dutch coach has agreed to a three-year deal with option of an additional year
- But the 52-year-old has failed to reach an agreement with the club over his staff
- Ten Hag wants Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag as his assistants
- But the club have reportedly asked him to evaluate United’s current staff first
Erik ten Hag is still keen on bringing Steve McClaren back to Manchester United as part of his backroom team.
Ten Hag was confirmed as United’s new manager on Thursday morning and is expected to be joined at Old Trafford next season by his Ajax No 2 Mitchell van der Gaag, who has yet to conclude contract talks with the Premier League club.
sportsmail understands that Ten Hag also wants McClaren, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant, to join him at United having previously worked together in Holland.
Erik ten Hag (left) wants Steve McClaren (right) as his new assistant at Manchester United
United confirmed Ten Hag’s appointment in a statement issued on Thursday morning
United released this picture of Ten Hag with a United shirt shortly after the announcement
The 52-year-old is very keen to have a coach on board who knows the Premier League, and ideally United, well.
I considered former Old Trafford favorites Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie but both were unavailable.
United are not opposed to the move but would prefer Ten Hag to assess the current coaching set-up at the club before making a final decision.
The Dutchman is also said to want long-term Ajax assistant Mitchell van der Gaag (pictured)
United have reportedly asked the Dutchman to evaluate the club’s current backroom staff first
It includes another former Ferguson No 2 Mike Phelan, as well as Chris Armas – who was brought in by interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Ten Hag worked as McClaren’s assistant at FC Twente as he rebuilt his reputation after a damaging spell as England manager.
The 60-year-old coach has been out of the game since stepping down as Derby’s technical director in September when the Championship club went into administration.
He has also managed Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Middlesbrough and QPR, having achieved huge success as Ferguson’s assistant when United won the Treble in 1999.
McClaren (2R) was Sir Alex Ferguson’s (3L) No 2 at United for three years between 1999-01
McClaren and Ten Hag worked successfully together during that sole season in Holland, with Twente finishing second in the Eredivisie. Have Hag left that summer and McClaren steered the Dutch side to their only top-flight title that following term.
Recently, McClaren has been working on a project with FIFA led by Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger, looking into development pathways in all 208 FIFA nations.
Speaking about Ten Hag’s qualities, McClaren was effusive about what the 52-year-old would bring to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant manager at Dutch outfit Twente during the 2008-09 season
‘His great strength lies not just in his attention to detail and organisation,’ he told The Telegraph. ‘He has a clear philosophy of how he wants to play football; the environment he wants to create.
‘The player progression program was a key part of Twente. He has done that at Ajax too, for each player from the academy to the first team.
‘You look at Hakim Ziyech and now the [Brazilian] striker Antony, a very good player who will be the next one to go. I have seen this Ajax team and it’s very good. Erik is very disciplined and people have to buy into that and have that work ethic.
‘Tactically he’s outstanding. He worked with Pep [Guardiola] at Bayern Munich and took in his philosophy too. They called him “Mini Pep” out there. He’s ready. A lot of top clubs in Germany and England will be out to get him.’