Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick praises Erik ten Hag

Ralf Rangnick has described Erik ten Hag as a ‘top manager’ as Manchester United close in on appointing the Ajax coach.

Ajax expect Ten Hag to take over at United and United are finalising a deal to release Ten Hag from his contract at the Dutch champions. The Manchester Evening News revealed three weeks ago Ten Hag was United’s preferred candidate to take over in the summer and the MEN reported in January United were aiming to settle on their next manager before the end of the season.

United interviewed Ten Hag just over two weeks ago but he had already emerged as their favoured choice to become permanent manager.

Rangnick will stay on at United beyond his interim manager role as a consultant on a two-year contract but he is still reluctant to speak candidly about Ten Hag specifically.

“This is the press conference for tomorrow’s game and I don’t intend to speak about any possible new managers here,” Rangnick said. “From what I know, all the managers the club has spoken to so far are top managers, top coaches and this is true of Erik ten Hag. That’s all I can say at this stage. For me it’s about preparing the team for tomorrow’s game and hopefully three points tomorrow.

“I know with which coaches they have spoken to so far, they are all top coaches, but again my focus is on tomorrow, the game tomorrow and the upcoming games after tomorrow’s game.”

Rangnick moved out of The Lowry Hotel and now resides in Hale but it is unclear whether he will remain in England during his consultancy role at United.

“We have agreed upon a contract as an adviser and we will speak about that in the next couple of weeks, I’m pretty sure,” Rangnick added. “At the latest, at the end of the season, but right now my full focus is on tomorrow.”