Graham Potter leaves door open for Manchester United job after rejecting European rivals

Graham Potter has reportedly turned down the chance to become Ajax manager amid growing links with Manchester United.

The former Brighton boss has been unemployed since leaving Chelsea in April 2023 but held talks with the Dutch giants having been targeted. Potter has previously been linked with a number of other roles but has been keen to bide his time in choosing his next destination.

Ajax, Erik ten Hag’s former club, are looking for a new head coach after sacking Maurice Steijn in October as the club sank into the Eredivisie relegation zone. Interim boss John van’t Schip is due to exit next month and Potter had been high up on the list of potential successors.

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However, the 48-year-old felt as though the opportunity was not right for him. That is according to The Athletic, which adds that Potter will assess all his options before committing his future to a club.

The decision could have further ramifications for United given that Ten Hag has himself been linked with a return to the Eredivisie giants, though it's unlikely they would be in a position to approach him before his Old Trafford future has been decided.

Potter is being linked with potentially usurping Ten Hag at Old Trafford. MEN Sport understands that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is not altogether convinced by the current manager and is set to make a decision on his future before long.

Recent performances have not helped his cause with the embarrassing FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Coventry City and Monday’s 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace increasing speculation around Ten Hag’s future.

Roberto De Zerbi had been one name on Ratcliffe’s shortlist but the Italian has since made public his desire to stay at Brighton. Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel, whom Potter succeeded as Chelsea boss in 2022, is another name being linked.

He is due to leave Bayern Munich this summer and this week spoke of his fondness of managing in the Premier League. England boss Gareth Southgate is also being cast into the picture, although any approach for him would almost certainly be delayed until after this summer’s European Championships.