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Newcastle owners face struggle to convince Ajax’s Erik ten Hag over Magpies role

EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle are seeking a new manager and want Ajax coach Erik ten Hag but he is reluctant to take charge given the Magpies’ current predicament in the Premier League

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Newcastle’s new owners will have to launch a ­compelling charm offensive to lure Ajax coach Erik ten Hag to Tyneside.

Ten Hag is refusing to comment on suggestions that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund want him to become Toon boss following their £300million takeover at St James’ Park.

PIF also have their sights on Ajax’s highly rated sporting ­director Marc Overmars.

But sources in Holland believe Ten Hag will take some convincing to leave the Amsterdam club because of the enormity of the task he would face just to keep the Magpies in the Premier League.

Yesterday’s defeat by Chelsea plunged Newcastle further into relegation trouble – and won’t have eased his fears at all.

Newcastle will offer a huge transfer budget and a salary to match. Ten Hag can expect to bank five-times his current ­£2m-a-year wages.



Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag is on Newcastle’s radar




But a well-placed source said: “Will it be Champions League or Championship? That is the ­question that bothers Ten Hag.

“Right now he is top of the group with Ajax in the Champions League and he can be sure of taking them into the knockout stages in 2022.”

Newcastle’s chances of landing the Ajax coach have been further complicated by Ronald Koeman’s
sacking at Barcelona, and Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s problems at Manchester United.

Ten Hag is on Barca’s shortlist to replace Koeman, with the ­Catalan club facing problems ­getting top choice Xavi out of his contract with Qatari club Al Sadd.









United are also looking at Ten Hag should they decide ­Solskjaer’s position has become untenable.

The 51-year-old Dutch coach has already turned down three jobs in the Bundesliga and an ­Italian club because they did not fit his plans. He also rejected ­ Tottenham ’s ­overtures.

Securing Overmars as director of football would give Newcastle a huge advantage over Ten Hag’s other suitors. Contact has been made through intermediaries and the Saudis are now expected to step up their interest.

Overmars gave Ten Hag his first senior coaching role when he made him boss of Go Ahead Eagles. He then took him to Ajax in 2017 and has been rewarded by two league and cup doubles.

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Ajax have refused to comment on the futures of Ten Hag and Overmars. But behind the scenes they are looking for assurances so that their season is not derailed.

Ten Hag claimed at his weekly press conference that he has not spoken to Overmars about ­Newcastle.

He said: “Overmars has got Ajax ­moving to great heights with his vision. That process is not ­finished yet for a while.”

Newcastle have options for both positions, with former ­Dortmund coach Lucien Favre and ex-Roma boss Paulo Fonseca in the frame to ­succeed Steve Bruce as Toon manager.


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