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Manchester United dampen down speculation Erik ten Hag decision has been made

The Ajax manager has been linked with becoming United’s next permanent manager.

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is reported to be ready to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United (Tess Derry/PA)

By PA Sport Staff

Manchester United remain in talks with several candidates over the vacant manager’s job at Old Trafford, the PA news agency understands.

A report on Wednesday afternoon claimed United were close to appointing Erik ten Hag as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent successor.

It was reported that United have settled on Ten Hag from a four-man shortlist and the 52-year-old Dutchman was ready to leave current club Ajax at the end of the season.

Erik ten Hag has twice won the Dutch league title with Ajax (PA)

But PA understands talks with other candidates are ongoing and a deal has yet to be finalised with anyone.

Paris St Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Spain coach Luis Enrique are also understood to have been on the shortlist.

Ten Hag and Pochettino, who both still have a year left to run on their respective contracts, have emerged as favourites to succeed Solskjaer.

Former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick replaced Solskjaer on an interim basis at Old Trafford in November.

Mauricio Pochettino has been in charge at Paris St Germain since January 2021 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Meanwhile, the Austrian Football Association has denied meeting Rangnick for talks over their national team vacancy.

Reports in Austria said the federation’s sports director Peter Schottel flew to Manchester on Monday to discuss the position with Rangnick.

But the Austrian FA issued a statement on Wednesday, posting on Twitter: “Clarification: There was no meeting between OFB sports director Peter Schottel and Ralf Rangnick, coach of @ManUtd.”

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Austria parted company with manager Franco Foda following their World Cup play-off semi-final defeat by Wales last month.

Rangnick, 63, has struggled to oversee an improvement in performances and results, with United slipping to seventh in the Premier League and exiting the Champions League at the last-16 stage.

Rangnick is due to start a two-year consultancy role at United this summer.

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