Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has been warned by former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal against taking up the managerial position, with the Dutch boss labeling the Red Devils as a “commercial club” rather than one that focuses on football.
Ten Hag has been strongly associated with the vacancy at Old Trafford and has consistently delivered results for Dutch giants Ajax.
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Ten Hag has been leading the Amsterdam outfit since December 2017 and led the team to the domestic double of the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup twice.
Notably, the 52-year-old has overseen the development of countless young stars who have moved on to bigger and better things, including centre-back Mathijs de Ligt and midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
However, Van Gaal, who joined United in 2014 on a three-year deal but was sacked after two years, had some advice for his national compatriot about what life at Carrington would be like.
“Erik ten Hag is a great manager and that’s always good for Manchester United, but Manchester United is a commercial club, so it’s a tough choice for a coach,” Van Gaal told reporters ahead of the Netherlands’ friendly against Germany.
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“I’m not going to give him advice, he’ll call me himself.
“We have conversations with each other.
“But he should choose a football club and not a commercial club.”
It is not the first time that ten Hag has been associated with a role at a top Premier League club, as he was very keen to take over from Tottenham Hotspur.
However, reports of a bizarre interview and strange demands caused him to ultimately miss out.
Ten Hag and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino seem to be the main frontrunners to take over from interim Red Devils boss Ralf Rangnick.
Van Gaal had previously been outspoken about United’s alleged penchant for winning over three points, claiming that even the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson had issues with the balance between commercial and football aspects at the club.
“At the moment there is a structure with a scouting division and above it someone on the right hand of (Ed) Woodward,” Van Gaal told the BBC in 2019.
“The structure isn’t that bad, but the right-hand man should be a technical director with football vision, not someone with a banker role.
“Unfortunately, we are talking about a commercial club, not a football club.
“I’ve talked to (Sir Alex) Ferguson about this and in his last years he had problems with it too.”