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Soccer: Manchester United hires Erik ten Hag as new manager

Soccer: Manchester United hires Erik ten Hag as new manager
Erik ten Hag will remain in place as Ajax manager through the end of the season and assume that job this summer at Manchester United. Photo by Maurice Van Steen/EPA-EFE

April 21 (UPI) -- Manchester United appointed Erik ten Hag as its new manager, the Manchester, England-based Premier League soccer club announced Thursday.

Ten Hag's contract, which is subject to work visa requirements, will run until June 2025 and includes a one-year option.

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The Dutch coach will leave Amsterdam club Ajax this summer to take over the Red Devils. Ten Hag started his tenure at Ajax, of the Dutch Eredivisie league, in 2017.

"It is a great honor to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead," ten Hag said in a news release.

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"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."

Ten Hag, 52, will remain at Ajax through the end of the season. Ajax sits atop the Eredivisie standings with five matches remaining.

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Ten Hag led the club to the Champions League semifinals in 2019. He previously managed Bayern Munich's reserve team in the German Bundesliga and Utrecht of the Eredivisie.

Manchester United sits in sixth place in the Premier League standings. Manchester City leads the league standings, followed by Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

"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," Manchester United football director John Murtough said.

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"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."

Manchester United fired coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November. Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick went on to serve as interim managers. Solskjaer totaled 91 wins, 40 losses and 37 draws during his 168-game tenure as Red Devils manager.

The Red Devils totaled 14 wins, nine losses and nine draws through 33 Premier League games this season. They will face Arsenal at 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday at Emirates Stadium in London.

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