REVEALED: Is this the moment Tyrell Malacia caught Erik ten Hag’s eye? Then Ajax boss appears to tell his assistant to ‘take note’ during dazzling Feyenoord display… and now he’s on the cusp of Man United move
Erik ten Hag is on the verge of sealing one of his first signings as Manchester United manager after agreeing a deal worth £13million to sign Feyenoord star Tyrell Malacia – but it looks as if he’s had his eye on the defender for a while.
Footage has emerged online that appears to show the very moment the Dutch boss first laid eyes on the talented youngster while in charge of Ajax, where he looks to have sensationally singled out the 22-year-old during an Eredivisie game.
In a compilation of Malacia’s best moments posted online by a fan, the cameras are focused on Ten Hag as he sits in the dugout.
Footage appears to show the moment Tyrell Malacia caught Erik ten Hag’s eye for the first time
While Ajax boss, Ten Hag appears to describe Malacia as ‘amazing’ before asking his assistant coach to ‘take note of him’
The 22-year-old, who is on the verge of becoming Ten Hag’s first signing as Man United boss, appears to have impressed the Dutch boss in an Eredivisie game
The full-back’s dazzling performance in the game certainly caught the former Ajax boss’ eye as he is seen pointing in the player’s direction and shouts in Dutch: ‘That kid at left back is amazing.’
The high praise certainly didn’t stop there, with Ten Hag then ordering one of his assistant coaches sat next to him to ‘take note of him’.
And it has been no secret that Ten Hag likes his compatriot.
Last year, the 52-year-old was asked if Malacia was one of his transfer targets while still at Ajax. Ten Hag remained coy with his response but let everyone know what he thought of the defender.
‘We do think he is a good player, yes,’ Ten Hag said.
‘A transfer for Malacia to us is not an issue in the first place. Before we get all speculations again; it does not play at all.
Malacia’s £13million move to United is now ‘imminent’, as confirmed by Feyenoord chiefs
‘We can accommodate a departure of [Nicolas] Tagliafico within our current selection. If it is really necessary, we have a shadow list indeed. Whether Malacia is on that list? I’m not going to tell you.’
While Malacia’s transfer appears to have come from out of nowhere, it seems Ten Hag has been intent on landing him for while.
Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday that Malacia was poised to join French side Lyon as the Old Trafford club focused attention on their bid to sign Frenkie de Jong, who shares the same agent as the Feyenoord star.
However, with De Jong talks advanced, United switched their sights to Malacia’s deal and have an agreement in place with Feyenoord for £12.9m plus a further £1.7m in add ons – gazumping Lyon’s offer of £12.9m all in.
Malacia, who has five caps for Holland and is a high energy modern full-back, must now decide whether he wants the move to Old Trafford where he will compete with Luke Shaw.
Feyenoord’s Malacia (right) has five caps for Holland and is a high energy modern full-back
Barcelona midfielder De Jong, 25, is the Premier League side’s top priority, with new manager Ten Hag desperate to sign the gifted playmaker to revamp his engine room.
United only want to move onto other signings, like Malacia, when the signing of De Jong is sorted.
With Malacia’s move to Lyon seemingly in the bag, United had moved to alternative targets like Ajax’s defender Nicolas Tagliafico.
But De Jong’s representatives are now trying to move both players onto Ten Hag’s side.
Feyenoord director Frank Arnesen told 1908.nl: ‘The agreement with Man United is there. We are now waiting for Tyrell. If Malacia says yes, then a transfer to Manchester United is imminent.’