Tottenham have been dealt another blow in their search for a new manager after Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag committed his future to the Dutch club.
The 51-year-old was understood to have been on Spurs’ shortlist to replace Jose Mourinho and the Premier League club were keen to interview him over the coming days, but he will be staying in Amsterdam after signing a contract extension until 2023.
Spurs saw their first choice candidate Julian Nagelsmann decide to join Bayern Munich this week, while Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has also distanced himself from the role.
Ten Hag drew chairman Daniel Levy’s attention for his work at the Johan Cruyff Arena, where Ajax have been the dominant force in Holland and also made waves in Europe.
Their run to the 2019 Champions League semi-final, ended by Spurs, enhanced Ten Hag’s reputation as they played an eye-catching style with a number of impressive young players going on to be sold for huge fees.
Ajax are currently 12 points clear at the top of the Eredivisie and can win the title – the 35th in their history – with a point against FC Emmen on Saturday.
A statement from the Dutch club said: “Ajax has reached an agreement with Erik ten Hag for the extension of his contract which previously ran until June 30, 2022. The new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2021 and will run until June 30, 2023.”
Ten Hag said on the club’s official website: “I know who I am working with, I know what the ideas are, I know what goals we have. I’m happy here.
“I’m busy with where I am at, that’s at Ajax, that’s where my head and heart are at. You know what it is like with outside of football rumour…it tells you that we’re doing good work at Ajax.
“I don’t want to rule out that that could have happened, but I know what I have here.”
Former midfielder Ryan Mason is in interim charge of Spurs until the end of the season, having become the youngest head coach in Premier League history aged 29.
The north London club are keen to announce a permanent successor for Mourinho by the end of the campaign but will have to look elsewhere following Ten Hag’s decision to stay in Holland.