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Manchester United have confirmed Ajax chief Erik ten Hag will become the club’s new manager this summer.

The Dutchman, 52, has agreed a three-year deal at Old Trafford with an option to extend for a further season and will take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will move into a consultancy role.

Closing in on a third Eredivisie title with Ajax this term, Ten Hag had emerged as the Red Devils’ preferred candidate in recent weeks and the club have now landed their man.

Fine work in Amsterdam has seen Ten Hag build a reputation as one of world football’s most exciting coaches and he is now tasked with bringing the good times back to the 20-time English champions. 

United currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, following a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday night, and head to fellow top-four chasers Arsenal on Saturday.

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Ten Hag said: “It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead.

“I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.

“I’m happy that it has been finalized and that it has been officially announced. That clarity is important. But I only have one interest now and that’s these last five games.

“I want to finish my time here on a positive note, by winning the league. By doing so, we’ll qualify directly for the Champions League. Ajax belongs there.”

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United football director John Murtough added: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.

“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”

Ajax chief executive and former United keeper Edwin Van der Sar, 51, said: “Four-and-a-half years is a good amount of time, but we would have liked to have kept Erik at Ajax for longer. He is going to make the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world, in a fantastic league.

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“We owe Erik a lot of thanks for what he has achieved with Ajax so far, but we are not done yet. At the end of the season, I will look back more extensively on his departure. For now, what matters is the final games of the season in which we all want to bring home the league title.”

Ten Hag’s current side were beaten 2-1 by PSV Eindhoven in last Sunday’s KNVB Cup final but sit four points clear of Roger Schmidt’s men in the Dutch top flight, with five games remaining.

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