Ajax have banned English media from attending Saturday’s news conference with manager Erik ten Hag to avoid him being questioned about Manchester United.
Ten Hag, 52, is expected to become the next permanent manager at Old Trafford, with United reportedly close to finalising the appointment of the Dutchman.
United are currently in talks with Ajax over a deal to secure Ten Hag’s signature, with the Dutch champions set to receive a compensation fee of around £1.6m.
Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino was also being considered for the role but United chiefs have instead opted for Ten Hag, bringing to an end the club’s long search for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement.
Ten Hag’s move is likely to be confirmed before the end of the season and the Dutchman is set to take charge in the summer, when interim manager Ralf Rangnick will move into a consultancy role at the club.
However, Ten Hag’s immediate attention remains with Ajax, who take on Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday.
Ajax head into the match top of the Dutch Eredisivie, four points clear of closest rivals PSV.
English media will not be allowed to attend the post-match press conference with Ten Hag this weekend, with Ajax chiefs keen for his focus to remain on winning a third league title with the club.
Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill said: “”As Ten Hag was preparing his team to face Sparta Rotterdam, the media team were busily rejecting the applications from the English media to attend the post-match news conference. There will be no radio, no newspapers, no Sky Sports News.
“”They don’t want him asked, in English, about Manchester United. His English isn’t that great, either.
“”Ajax say he needs to concentrate on winning another [Eredivisie] title. It’s by no means a given – they’re only four points ahead [of PSV] with six games to play.
“”It is a bit worrying that he is not doing any [English] media duties tomorrow because maybe he doesn’t want to answer any difficult questions.
“”But if he is to become the Manchester United manager then he is going to have to get used to answering tricky questions twice, sometimes even three times, a week.
“”That could be something for Manchester United fans to worry about.””
United, meanwhile, take on Everton on Saturday and Rangnick was also keen to avoid the subject of Ten Hag’s imminent appointment.
“”This is the press conference for tomorrow’s game and I don’t intend to speak about any possible new managers here,”” Rangnick said.