New Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag was close to being appointed Reading FC manager, according to TalkSport.

The Dutchman has been in charge of Ajax since 2017, winning two Eredivisie titles, but will take over at the Red Devils at the end of the current season.

However, it could have been very different, with the former Bayern Munich II boss nearly taking charge of the Royals in 2016.

Speaking to former Reading Sporting Director, Brian Tevreden, the radio station discovered that it was just a compensation deal between the club and Utrecht that prevented the deal from taking place.

Talking to journalist Adam Goodwin, the chief executive at Belgian side K.S.V. Roeselare said: “I knew Erik from when he was a coach at Go Ahead Eagles. He did pretty well, he got promoted with that team, I liked how he played with young players.”

“After that, he was at Bayern Munich’s second team and, from the stories that I hear and the things that I saw when I watched games, I was really impressed with that. He then went to Utrecht and did the same thing again.

“When I made my transfer to Reading as a sporting director and the club made the decision to sack Brian McDermott, I made a list of managers from England and from abroad.

“He was my No.1 target.

“We had a quick conversation, the owner, ‘Tiger’ (Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth), was on there as well, but, ultimately, I had to pay £300k but there was no budget.

“So, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do the deal.”

Tevreden added: “I had a couple of conversations with him, he was open to the opportunity, he then spoke to the owner.

“I knew there was a clause in his contract for £300k but the board told me there was no money. That was so painful for me!”

Reading Chronicle:

Credit: Jaap Stam (credit: Nick Parford)


40-year-old Tevreden chose Jaap Stam instead, who went on to finish third in the Championship and come to within one penalty kick of promotion to the Premier League, however he was sacked halfway through the following season.