September 28, 2022

Erik ten Hag is still interested in 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 number 2 Mitchell van der Gaag, who has yet to conclude contract talks with the club. of the Premier League. sports mail he understands that Ten Hag also wants McClaren, Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant, to join him at United after previously working together in the Netherlands.

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The 52-year-old is keen to have a manager on board who knows the Premier League well and, ideally, United. He considered former Old Trafford favorites Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie, but neither was available. United are not opposed to the move, but would prefer that Ten Hag assess the current manager setup at the club before making a final decision.

It includes another former Ferguson No 2 Mike Phelan, as well as Chris Armas, who was brought in by caretaker 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.

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The 60-year-old manager has been out of the game since stepping down as Derby manager in September when the Championship club went into administration. He also managed Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Middlesbrough and QPR, and achieved great success as an assistant to Ferguson as United won the treble in 1999.

McClaren and Ten Hag worked together successfully during that single season in the Netherlands, with Twente finishing second in the Eredivisie. Ten Hag left that summer, and McClaren led the Dutch team to their only top-level title that following term. McClaren has recently been working on a project with FIFA led by Head of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger, looking at development pathways across all 208 FIFA nations. Speaking about Ten Hag’s qualities, McClaren was effusive about what the 52-year-old would bring to Old Trafford.

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“His great strength lies not only in his attention to detail and organization,” 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 it at Ajax too, for every 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 to go. I have seen this Ajax team and it is very good. Erik is very disciplined and people have to accept that and have that work ethic. ‘Tactically he is outstanding. He worked with Pep [Guardiola] at Bayern Munich and also absorbed their philosophy. Around there they called him “Mini Pep”. He’s ready. Many of the best clubs in Germany and England will be out for him.

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