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'I do not exclude anything' - Ajax coach Ten Hag won't rule out Bayern Munich return

5:03 PM GMT+8 21/10/2019
Erik ten Hag Tottenham Ajax 30042019
The Dutchman has admitted he would consider going back to Allianz Arena in the near future, having previously taken in spell in charge of the academy

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is refusing to rule out a possible return to Bayern Munich, with pressure building on current head coach Niko Kovac.

Ten Hag served as Bayern II manager in Germany's fourth tier between 2013 and 2015, working under Spanish tactician Pep Guardiola during his successful spell in charge of the first team.

The 49-year-old spent two years at Utrecht after leaving Germany, before being named as Ajax' new permanent manager in 2017, and the club has made great strides forward under his stewardship.

Ajax secured a domestic double last season, while also embarking on a thrilling Champions League run, which eventually ended at the hands of Tottenham at the semi-final stage.

The Dutch giants have picked up where they left off at the start of the 2019-20 campaign, with Ten Hag's stock continuing to rise with each passing game.

Fresh calls for Kovac to be replaced in the Bayern hot seat have emerged in the wake of his side's 2-2 draw at Augsburg on Saturday, with Ten Hag among the names mentioned as his potential successor.

When asked if he would consider accepting a role with the German champions, the Ajax head coach told Kicker: "I do not exclude anything.

"But I'm almost 50 and not a dreamer, it comes - or it does not come - I'm totally happy and happy with Ajax, even though I know that I will not be a coach here for 10 years.

"The day will eventually come to say goodbye."

The Eredivise leaders resume their latest Champions League campaign with a clash against Chelsea at Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday.

Both sides have won their last five matches across all competitions, which suggests a tense encounter could be on the cards, with Ten Hag wary of the threat posed by Frank Lampard's "incredible team".

"[Chelsea} That's an incredibly good team," he added. "I don't want to be too humble and see us as an underdog but nevertheless, when a Dutch team plays against the second team from France, the fourth and cup winner from Spain and a Premier League club then we definitely are.

"But, we have self-confidence and developed a playing style with which we can cause problems for any opponent. We aren't afraid of any team and can beat Chelsea. But for that, we need a top performance."

Ten Hag went on to name Liverpool, Bayern, Juventus and Barcelona as the leading contenders for this season's European Cup, but he also feels Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain can launch a strong challenge.

"Of course Liverpool. Manager and team, that works out," he said. "Then I think Bayern, surely Juventus. Barcelona, although they are not at their best at the moment.

"Have I named City already? Add Paris, then we have already six teams. And there's usually one surprising team to add."