Erik ten Hag said it would be “normal” if he had already held talks about becoming Manchester United’s next manager.
The Ajax boss did not confirm whether discussions have taken place.
And he stressed he would wait until the end of the season before declaring his intentions.
In an interview with Germany’s Sport1, Ten Hag was asked about reports he has already spoken to United about the vacancy that will materialise when interim manager Ralf Rangnick steps aside.
Ten Hag said:
“Everyone knows each other in the industry. There are always talks with representatives from other clubs, that’s normal.
“Manchester United is a great club with great fans. But I can only repeat myself: My full focus is on Ajax. We are already planning for the new season.”
Ten Hag has stuck by the line that his immediate attention must be on the present, with Ajax in a battle with PSV for Dutch league and cup glory.
“But in football, you never know,” he said. “I don’t want to rule anything out.”
He said outside interest would be “a distraction”, adding: “If at some point I should decide to take the next step, I hope that people here will understand.”
Ajax will hope to retain the coach who joined in December 2017 and helped the team reach the 2019 Champions League semi-finals, landing the Eredivisie league title in the same year and the 2020-21 campaign.
“I’ve sat down with Ajax after every season,” Ten Hag said. “That will also be the case this time. I can say that Ajax and Erik ten Hag are very happy with each other.”
Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino is the other leading contender for the United job.
With the incoming boss set to take charge of a team that last won silverware in the 2016-17 season, when they landed the EFL Cup and Europa League titles.
United sits sixth in the league, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who have played fewer games.
Ten Hag’s Ajax is top by two points from PSV in the Eredivisie, and the title rivals also meet in the final of the KNVB-Beker on April 17.
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