Erik ten Hag lays down the gauntlet to Cristiano Ronaldo and Co by insisting he will tell Man United stars if they are not up to scratch ‘no matter who it is’… as he speaks out for the first time since being confirmed as new boss
- Erik ten Hag was confirmed as Man United’s new permanent boss on Thursday
- The 52-year-old will inherit a squad full of stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo
- But Dutchman insists he will challenge any of them if they are not up to scratch
- Ajax boss also said he wants a say in transfers at Old Trafford during the summer
Erik ten Hag has laid down the law to Manchester United players ahead of next season, insisting he will challenge anyone in the squad if they do not ‘meet their task’.
The Dutchman was confirmed as United’s next permanent manager on Thursday and will replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick after agreeing a contract until 2025 worth £9million per year.
The 52-year-old will inherit a squad full of high-profile stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford next season, a marked difference from his current stint as Ajax boss.
Erik ten Hag has laid down the law to Manchester United players ahead of next season
The 52-year-old will inherit a squad full of high-profile stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo
But speaking to Dutch newspaper Trouw the day after being announced as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement, ten Hag has vowed to challenge those who are not deemed to be pulling their weight, regardless of their name and status.
Asked if he could cope with Ronaldo and other stars at United, ten Hag said: ‘I think I can, but I will stay myself in that.
‘I won’t change my vision. I will tell them their task and whoever does not meet those tasks will hear that from me, no matter who it is.’
Ten Hag is also is pushing Man United to bring Steve McClaren back to Old Trafford as part of his new coaching team.
But he insists he will tell Man United stars if they are not up to scratch ‘no matter who is it is’
The 52-year-old wants Sir Alex Ferguson’s former No 2 on board so he has someone with experience of not only the Premier League but United as well.
United denied suggestions that they are resisting Ten Hag’s request, but want him to assess the existing options at the club before making a final decision on McClaren.
But ten Hag said he sees nothing wrong with making demands, and insists having a say in what transfer business United do is essential.
‘I make demands in advance before I arrive. If the club doesn’t grant them I won’t take the job,’ ten Hag added.
‘I am the one responsible, I am the one who will get judged by results. I don’t want to be a ruler, I will work together, but having a say in transfers is a condition for me.’
Ten Hag (left) wants to have Steve McClaren (right) as his new assistant at Manchester United
Ajax winger Antony, who played under Ten Hag in Holland, is said to be among the targets
Moreover, reports suggest he will be handed a massive £120m budget to rejuvenate the side in the summer.
The Dutchman faces an almighty challenge at Old Trafford as he inherits a floundering side who are set to go a fifth season without silverware and have slipped to sixth in the race for top four.
The recruitment team have reportedly already held talks with Ten Hag – who, like his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will have a veto on all signings – and Ajax winger Antony is said to be among the targets.
Another of Ten Hag’s Ajax stars, Lisandro Martinez, and Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt have also been linked.
In midfield, Kalvin Phillips is viewed as an alternative to West Ham’s Declan Rice, whose £150million price tag is believed to have deterred United but who some reports suggest has turned down a third contract offer in east London.
United are also reportedly targetting Kalvin Phillips (left) and Lisandro Martinez (right)