Ajax boss Erik ten Hag had his interview for the Manchester United job on Monday

REVEALED: Ajax boss Erik ten Hag had his interview for the Manchester United job on Monday, with Old Trafford club also keen to speak to Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique

  • Ajax’s Erik ten Hag is the favorite to become the next Manchester United boss
  • Current Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has now dropped out of the running
  • United chiefs are hoping to make a final call on Ralf Rangnick’s successor in April
  • Ajax boss Ten Hag has previously been linked with Tottenham and Newcastle

Erik ten Hag has been interviewed for the Manchester United job, Sportsmail can reveal.

The 52-year-old Ajax coach spoke to United on Monday as the club stepped up its search for a permanent replacement to take over from Ralf Rangnick next season.

United sources on Tuesday said a number of candidates are being interviewed from a list that includes Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique.

Erik ten Hag has been interviewed in line with taking over as manager of Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick is the current interim boss at United but will move into a new role this summer

Ralf Rangnick is the current interim boss at United but will move into a new role this summer

Thomas Tuchel is no longer considered a viable option. Ten Hag, previously linked with Tottenham and Newcastle, is the bookies’ favorite to take over.

United hope to make a decision before the end of next month and have the new man in place as soon as possible after the end of the season.

Confirmation that the 52-year-old spoke to United will only crank up the noise about him now being the outright favorite to take over at Old Trafford in the summer.

United are urging caution over the Ten Hag speculation. Sources insist that a research process overseen by football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher was only completed at the start of this month, allowing initial conversations with candidates to get underway which have now evolved into formal interviews.

Julen Lopetegui has also been linked with a Manchester United move

Mauricio Pochettino has also been sounded out for the role

Julen Lopetegui (left) and Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked with a United move

On the shortlist, Spain manager Luis Enrique is an outside shot to come in at Old Trafford

On the shortlist, Spain manager Luis Enrique is an outside shot to come in at Old Trafford

There is an acceptance at United that too many stars would have to align for Tuchel to leave Chelsea while the crisis-hit club is still looking for new owners.

It may take some time for Tuchel’s future to become clear, and United want to have the new man in place as soon after the end of this season as possible.

Pochettino, in particular, has been the main contender alongside Ten Hag ever since United installed Ralf Rangnick as interim boss.

However, his odds have drifted in recent days and there is a growing suspicion in the Argentine’s camp that the job is now Ten Hag’s to lose.

John Murtough (left) and Darren Fletcher (right) have been overseeing the process of appointing a new manager at Manchester United ahead of next season

John Murtough (left) and Darren Fletcher (right) have been overseeing the process of appointing a new manager at Manchester United ahead of next season

However, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel's uncertain future has put him out of the running

However, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel’s uncertain future has put him out of the running

At Ajax, meanwhile, the expectancy is that their coach will leave at the end of this campaign.

United will also have to speak to his formidable agent Kees Vos, who negotiated Robin van Persie’s move to Old Trafford from Arsenal a decade ago and only recently added Guardiola’s brother Pere to his Sports Entertainment Group.

Ajax have indicated they will not stand in Ten Hag’s way and have a good relationship with United through their chief executive Edwin van der Sar, but there would still be compensation in the region of £ 4million.

For now, though, it remains hypothetical. United say there is a long way to go in this process and there is no front-runner.

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