Speculation was rife that incoming Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag was keen to bring Sebastien Haller with him to Old Trafford, but the striker has dismissed any chance of him leaving Ajax
Ajax striker Sebastien Haller has poured cold water on suggestions he could follow Erik ten Hag to Manchester United this summer, insisting he is happy to stay in Amsterdam.
Ten Hag will take charge of Man United next season after signing a three-year contract with an option for a further year. The 52-year-old will link up with the Red Devils when the season with Ajax is concluded, as Ten Hag aims to lead the club to a third title in his fifth season at the club.
Part of Ajax’s recent success has been down to Haller’s incredible form in front of goal. Having joined the Eredivisie outfit from West Ham for £18million in January 2021, the French-born striker, who represents the Ivory Coast at international level, has hit 33 goals in 40 games this season.
Ten Hag was forced to deny that he had struck an agreement to take certain Ajax players with him to Old Trafford, with Haller one of the leading candidates given the duo also worked together at Utrecht between 2015 and 2017. But while the 26-year-old striker admitted there had been interest in his services, he is content with life in the Dutch capital and is not looking to leave.
“Of course, there is interest from clubs. But I always say: interest is something different than an offer and a transfer is something else,” he told Dutch outlet NOS. When pressed to answer about the possibility of following Ten Hag’s path to United this summer, Haller was adamant that he would be staying, replying: “No I won’t follow him. I feel good here at the club and in the city.”
United fans may be relieved to hear of Haller’s denial after the striker endured a difficult spell in the Premier League with West Ham. Having arrived in a £45million deal from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2019, Haller largely flattered to deceive, scoring just 14 times in 54 appearances and struggling with injuries at the London Stadium.
Just 18 months after splashing out on David Moyes’ record signing, West Ham cut their losses by offloading him to the Dutch champions. But he has rediscovered his goalscoring touch under Ten Hag, with eight of his 33 goals coming in the Champions League after Ajax finished the group stage with a perfect record of six wins out of six.
With a move for Haller now looking unlikely, it is expected that United will focus on a long list of targets as the club prepare for a major overhaul this summer. Their on-pitch troubles were underlined with a humiliating 4-0 defeat by Brighton on Saturday, with several departures expected this summer as Ten Hag looks to reshape the squad.
In terms of attacking reinforcements, it is believed United are considering a move for RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku. The 24-year-old has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season and is thought to be keen on taking on a new challenge, with the Bundesliga outfit likely to demand a fee in excess of £60million. Reims starlet Hugo Ekitike, who almost joined Newcastle in January, is also wanted by United in a cut-price £13million deal.
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