Erik ten Hag speaks out on Man Utd sack rumours and claims he could rejoin Ajax

Erik ten Hag is under huge pressure at Manchester United. (Image: Getty)

Under-fire Erik ten Hag has again come out fighting over his future by claiming he expects to still be in charge at Manchester United next year. Since the minority takeover purchase of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Dutchman’s position has been the subject of mounting speculation amid his side’s erratic campaign.

After winning the League Cup in his maiden season, Ten Hag has led his side to a second successive FA Cup final this time around and a repeat Wembley clash with rivals Manchester City. But United’s early Champions League exit, compounded by their failure to qualify for the competition this season following a very underwhelming league campaign, has seemingly left him in a precarious position.

And the 54-year-old has cut a volatile figure of late. Following his team’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Coventry City, he rowed with journalists over what he described as an “embarrassing” reaction to their rollercoaster win.

He’s also been bullish over questions about his future, despite reports linking him with a return to Ajax. Ten Hag left Amsterdam for Manchester in 2022, after a five-year stint where he landed three Eredivisie titles and took the club to the brink of the 2018/19 Champions League final.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports.

Ten Hag had a successful five-year spell in charge at Ajax. (Image: Getty)

And in a Sky Sports interview with Gary Neville this week, Ten Hag denied being in talks with his former club. Pressed on his future, he replied: “I expect to be the manager of Manchester United next year. I have not been in contact with Ajax, no.”

The manager has been criticised for United’s apparent lack of fluidity this season, accused of failing to install any kind of identity on his squad. Neville himself had described United as a “team that plays in moments,” but Ten Hag cited their run of injuries as a major factor in their inconsistent form.

“We’ve now played 47 games and we had 30 combinations in the back four,” he argued. “They weren’t from choices you make, they were forced choices because the players were injured. Anyone with even a little bit of knowledge about football, they will know it will have a huge impact.”

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Ten Hag is currently under contract at United until the summer of 2025, although the club have the option of triggering a one-year extension to that deal. His side currently lie sixth in the Premier League, but European football is not guaranteed with both Newcastle United and Chelsea within striking distance behind them.

Their 12 top-flight losses also equals their most ever in a single Premier League campaign. Ten Hag’s men next go to Crystal Palace on Monday where a defeat would see them surpass the unwanted marker set by David Moyes’ squad in the 2013/14 campaign.