Why ex-Chelsea rejected huge European move amid fresh Man United links

Man Utd are reportedly interested in Erik ten Hag's services.Man Utd are reportedly interested in Erik ten Hag's services.
Man Utd are reportedly interested in Erik ten Hag's services.
The former Chelsea and Brighton man is still looking for a chance to return to the dugout after leaving Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea head coach Graham Potter has turned down the chance to take charge of Ajax, despite being without a job for more than a year since his departure from Stamford Bridge.

Sky News reports that the 48-year-old was the 'prime target' for the struggling Dutch club. Ajax have been without a permanent head coach since October, when Maurice Steijn was sacked.

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Potter is said to not be interested in joining Ajax and relocating to the Netherlands. The former Brighton man left Chelsea on April 2 last year with the Blues sitting 11th in the Premier League.

The head coach role at Ajax would have been a tough post given the outfit's current predicament. John van't Schip has been in temporary charge of the side but the team sits sixth in the Eredivisie, 33 points off leaders PSV, and were thrashed 6-0 by rivals Feyenoord on Sunday. Ajax were also knocked out of the Europa Conference League by Aston Villa last month.

Dutch outlet Voetbal International believes that it is the 'constant chaos' within Ajax that proved the ultimate reason why Potter was unwilling to be persuaded to take the role. The ex Chelsea man is believed to have had talks with the club over the last weekend.

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Potter has been linked with several roles since leaving Stamford Bridge, and is touted as one of the candidates who could replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, should new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe bring about major changes this summer. Potter is also believed to have turned down Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais last year.

Pressure continues to grow on Erik ten Hag. (Image: Getty Images)Pressure continues to grow on Erik ten Hag. (Image: Getty Images)
Pressure continues to grow on Erik ten Hag. (Image: Getty Images)

Last month, The Sun reported that incoming Manchester United sporting director Dan Ashworth had already had talks with Potter with pressure growing on Ten Hag. The duo worked closely at Brighton and could reunite at Old Trafford, although England manager Gareth Southgate has also been named as a frontrunner to replace Ten Hag, should he be sacked.

When parting ways with Potter last year, a Chelsea statement explained: "Chelsea FC has announced that Graham Potter has departed the club. Graham has agreed to collaborate with the Club to facilitate a smooth transition. In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid. Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future."

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