Erik ten Hag confident of Manchester United appointment after more talks | Manchester United

Erik ten Hag is confident of being offered the position of Manchester United’s next permanent manager following the agreement between the Dutchman’s camp and the club that Steve McClaren should be appointed as his No 2 if the 51-year-old takes over.

The Ajax coach has held more talks with United about succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjær and is understood to view the club’s willingness to consider McClaren, who Ten Hag worked under at FC Twente for the 2008-09 season, as a positive sign he could be heading to Old Trafford. Although a deal is yet to be sealed, Ten Hag and his advisers will now be surprised if he misses out.

United’s initial five-man shortlist also included Spain coach Luis Enrique, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino but Ten Hag has emerged as the clear favorite. Luis Enrique was particularly admired at the start of the process, but he in effect ruled himself out when he made it clear he would not leave Spain until after this winter’s World Cup. United want the new manager in place for the summer transfer window.

Tuchel was unattainable due to his commitment to Chelsea and though Lopetegui and Pochettino were interviewed, Ten Hag emerged as the first choice, impressing in discussions led by John Murtough, United’s football director, and overseen by Joel Glazer, the co-chairman.

If Ten Hag is appointed and McClaren joins him it will mean a return to the club after 21 years for the 60-year-old former England coach, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s No 2 from 1999-2001. At the end of his first season at United the club claimed the treble.

McClaren’s experience of United and the Premier League is a key reason why he is being considered as Ten Hag’s potential assistant. He also speaks Dutch, having had two different spells in charge of Twente.

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