Fred Rutten, Erik ten Hag’s old boss, has revealed that he has turned down the opportunity to join the future Manchester United manager at Old Trafford next season.
Ten Hag will take over as manager of the 20-time English champions at the conclusion of the season, after which Ralf Rangnick will move up to a consultant post and continue to coach Austria.
The 52-year-old will supervise big changes in playing and staff personnel at the Theatre of Dreams, and he is thought to have already formed his coaching staff.
Ten Hag has a close relationship with Rutten, having worked as his assistant for two years at FC Twente before returning to PSV Eindhoven between 2009 and 2012.
The current Ajax manager was Rutten’s number two at PSV for 142 matches before taking over as manager of Go Ahead Eagles, and he was eager to rejoin with the Dutchman in Manchester.
However, Rutten has disclosed that he has turned down the opportunity to work under Ten Hag’s tutelage at Manchester United and will instead join Ruud van Nistelrooy’s new-look PSV to be closer to his family.
“I have a family, I have grandchildren. I want to see them every now and then,’ Rutten told ESPN, as quoted by Metro. “At Manchester United you get on a train and you can’t get off it. I want to feel comfortable in something you step into. That is the case with PSV.
‘It’s nice when you have grandchildren, who you see every now and then and who can play ball with. Of course I spoke extensively with Ruud van Nistelrooy.
“He triggered me to give up the slightly freer life that I now have. He sat in the room with me and we talked for two hours about football and other things. And when talking about those other things in life, he also triggered me.
“I think Ruud already has some experience, he has already trained a number of teams, at Jong PSV and their under-18s.
“He has also acquired experience from the Dutch national team. Ruud is ready, that’s what it seems to me. I am positively critical. For me, PSV stands for a Champions League club. Everything you do should serve that thought.”
Rutten will leave the supervisory board at NEC Nijmegen to join PSV, where Van Nistelrooy is taking the reins from Benfica-bound Roger Schmidt.
The 59-year-old’s managerial career has also seen him take charge of Schalke, PSV, Vitesse, Feyenoord, Al-Shabab, Maccabi Haifa and most recently Anderlecht, winning one KNVB-Beker title with Twente in 2001.
However, Ten Hag is still expected to bring current assistant Mitchell van der Gaag with him to the Premier League, while Steve McClaren is also thought to be in line to join the coaching team.
Ten Hag will not be leading Man United into the Champions League next season after the Red Devils’ humiliating 4-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion, with sixth place now the best that the Red Devils can hope for.
However, the two-time Eredivisie winner has reportedly told Man United not to contact him while he focuses on the remainder of the season with Ajax, who are four points clear of PSV at the top of the table with two games left to play.