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AJAX

Erik Ten Hag rules out Bayern Munich return: "I'm staying at Ajax"

Bayern Munich are looking for a new coach after the departure of Niko Kovac on Sunday - but it seems it will not be Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag rules out Bayern Munich return: I will stay in Ajax this season

Erik ten Hag has confirmed he will stay at Ajax for the remainder of the season, seemingly ending speculation of a move back to Bayern Munich. The Dutch coach was previously in charge of Bayern's second string and, following the departure of Niko Kovac on Sunday, has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga club. However, speaking to the media ahead of Ajax's Champions League fixture against Chelsea on Tuesday, the 49-year-old ruled out heading back to Bavaria - for now at least.

Ten Hag's "strong connection" with Ajax

When asked if he plans to stay with his current employers, he replied: "I can confirm that. I feel a strong connection with my team, with everyone with Ajax. I can confirm I will stay in Ajax this season."

Ten Hag did admit he retains a love for Bayern but is "not a dreamer", instead choosing to focus on Ajax getting a positive result at Stamford Bridge. "Bayern is a fantastic club – I felt really comfortable and really enjoyed working there. They are still in my heart, but now I am with Ajax," he said. "I'm not a dreamer – I focus on Ajax and that's important. I live for today, my only focus is on Ajax and tomorrow's game with Chelsea."

"Chelsea are among the favourites" - Ten Hag

Surprise semi-finalists last season, Ajax are level with Chelsea on six points in Group H, though they lost at home to the Blues in the previous round of fixtures. Ten Hag understands his players face a tall order to prevail against their Premier League hosts, believing Frank Lampard's squad can go all the way in the competition.

"They are one of the favourites," he said. "It's going to be difficult, but every game is going to be difficult. We trust in ourselves. We know we have to play perfectly, give our best performance. Then we will have a chance."