EPL

Guardiola confident, but not certain, that 'incredible' Ten Hag would succeed at Man Utd

By Sports Desk April 01, 2022

Pep Guardiola is unsure if Erik ten Hag would be a success at Manchester United, but has no doubt over the Ajax coach's quality.

Ten Hag is being heavily linked with a move to United to replace Ralf Rangnick, once the German leaves his interim role at the end of the season.

According to reports, Ten Hag held talks with United in recent weeks, and he did not deny that speculation in an interview with Germany's Sport1.

The 52-year-old reaffirmed that his full focus as it stands is on Ajax, though called United "a great club with great fans" and that he did not "want to rule anything out."

Manchester City manager Guardiola worked at Bayern at the same time as Ten Hag was in charge of the club's second team, and believes the Dutchman has all of the quality to succeed in the Premier League.

However, Guardiola stressed that many quality managers have come and gone at United since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

"I don't know. Nobody knows. If I were 100 per cent sure, I would call Man United, and I would tell the guys they have to take him, but I don't know," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's clash with Burnley on Saturday.

"So nobody knows. When I arrived here I didn't know [the league], nobody knows. He'd try and he's a good manager, there's no doubt of it. But, in the past, the previous managers since Alex [Ferguson] left.

"We can't say that David Moyes is not a proper manager. Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, you know, or right now [Ralf Rangnick]. So I think all the managers who have been at United are excellent. We cannot deny that. "

Guardiola does believe that Ten Hag has proved his quality across a successful spell with Ajax, though, which has so far included two league and cup doubles in the Netherlands and a run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.

"He was, I think, one season with the second team for Bayern [Munich], we spoke quite regularly," Guardiola said.

"He's an incredible person, human being. I was surprised how humble and good [he is]. About his qualities... just take a look at his Ajax in the last years. [They've been] a joy to watch in many, many things.

"Not just the year they got to the [Champions League] semi-final, if it weren't for little details they would have reached the final. The game they played against Benfica [this season] at home was exceptional but football is like this.

"In terms of quality just take a look at his teams. To define a manager you have to watch his teams for a long time and say, 'okay, this is the team and this manager makes them play this play'. There's no doubt about that.

"The relationship we had was incredibly good. When we chat about football in the second team, the players, whatever, it always was exceptionally good."

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