Ten Hag snubs Spurs, pens new deal with Ajax
Tottenham hopes of getting Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag as a potential replacement for sacked Jose Mourinho has come to an end after the Ajax boss signed a new deal with the Dutch giants on Friday, days after Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers also snubbed the north Londoners.
The 51-year-old had emerged as the frontrunner to replace the Portuguese, who was sacked by chairman Daniel Levy following an underwhelming season with the club.
However, contrary to reports that Spurs had scheduled a ‘direct meeting’ with ten Hag, Ajax have announced that the manager will remain at the club until 2023 after agreeing on an extension to his existing deal that was set to expire next summer.
Signed & sealed.
On to more success ⚪️
‘We want to work on a successful and attractive Ajax,’ ten Hag told the club’s official website. ‘I know what I have here and I know the people I work with here. I also know how we can take the next step with this team. I’m happy here.’
‘Getting somewhere is one thing, staying somewhere is another. Ajax is back on the map internationally. We get the recognition we deserve for that, but we want even more. We want to go even higher and challenge the top clubs in Europe.
Ten Hag acknowledged the strong links to Spurs, insisting that Ajax is where his ‘head and heart are at.
‘I don’t want to rule out that that could have happened, but I know what I have here,’ he said via Jonathan Veal. ‘I know who I am working with, I know what the ideas are, I know what goals we have. I’m happy here. That’s where my head and heart are at.’
In a thinly-veiled dig at the rumors linking him with Spurs, Ajax tweeted: ‘His home? Amsterdam’ upon announcing ten Hag’s contract extension.
The club shared an image of Ten Hag alongside club chief and former Man United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar holding a glass of champagne after signing on the dotted line.
Former Spurs midfielder Ryan Mason has taken the reins until the end of the season as Levy conducts his search for an experienced, attack-minded manager to replace Mourinho – had been criticized for being too cautious during his tenure.
Ten Hag had been identified as a target, with the Dutchman winning plaudits after guiding Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018-19, where they were knocked out by Spurs following an enthralling two-legged encounter.
The Dutchman is the latest manager to distance himself from the Spurs hot seat after Foxes manager Rodgers insisted that he had no intention of leaving the east Midlands club amid reports linking him with the vacancy.
‘I’m very, very happy here. I have huge respect here for the players, the board and I really feel that I want to continue my work here,’ Rodgers said on Wednesday.
‘I’ve got a set of players that give me their heart and soul every single day and also I can see a future here in terms of the development of the squad.
‘I’ve got a really strong relationship with the board. We work very closely together.
‘I always knew what the challenge was coming here, to try and improve the squad, and over the last couple of years what we’ve been able to do is build an infrastructure around behavior and creating a mindset in order to win.
‘That’s not easy but you see now the mentality around developing that will and desire to win. Now for the next period of years let’s see if we can roll that out now, can we continually evolve.
‘Tottenham is a great club, one of the biggest clubs in Britain but for me, I’m just in a really, really happy place in my life.’