INCOMING Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he is “going to miss incredibly” the chance to compete in the Champions League next season.

A poor finish to the season means the Red Devils are out of contention for a top-four Prem finish.

Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he is looking forward to the challenge of the Premier League

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Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says he is looking forward to the challenge of the Premier LeagueCredit: AFP

Sixth-placed United now face a scrap with a West Ham side two points behind them for a Europa League spot.

Final-day results for United at Crystal Palace and the Hammers at Brighton will now determine who finishes sixth.

Seventh would see the Red Devils earn a place in the Europa Conference League’s final qualifying round.

But that will be a small crumb of comfort for the Old Trafford faithful who had high hopes for the season when club legend Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined from Juventus last summer.

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When asked about United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League on Sunday, outgoing Ajax boss Ten Hag admitted it was “painful”.

The Dutchman, 52, told Parool: “Manchester United will not play the Champions League next season.

“That’s painful for United – but also for me. It’s a competition I’m going to miss incredibly.

“But the fact that I’m going to work in the Premier League makes up for a lot. United has an enormous reach, worldwide.”

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Ten Hag has just led Ajax to their third Eredivisie title in a row and the Dutch giants will compete in the Champions League again next season after reaching the last 16 in the current campaign.

He added: “I think I will encounter the same force fields at United as at Ajax, only a factor of three or four larger.

“There is something to gain. And the way that should be done, the club and I agree on that.”



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