Ajax appoint Utrecht boss Erik ten Hag as new head coach

Ajax have appointed Utrecht boss Erik ten Hag as their new head coach.

Ajax said in a statement they have reached an agreement with their Eredivisie rivals for the 47-year-old to take over from the start of January.

He will sign a two-and-a-half year contract with the Amsterdam club.

The club had appointed Michael Reiziger as interim coach after the sacking of Marcel Keizer and his assistants, former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp and Hennie Spijkerman on Dec. 21.

Keizer only replaced Peter Bosz in the summer after he left to take over at Borussia Dortmund. Bosz was sacked himself earlier this month.

After the dismissal of Keizer, Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar told the club's official website: "We had a bad summer and a messy start to the season.

"From a sporting point of view, European elimination [from the Champions League preliminaries] was the low point.

"Marc Overmars and I have frequently spoken in the months afterwards about the permanent volatility of the first team. We are not confident that we will achieve the level that we are striving for with Ajax in this way.''

Ten Hag joined Utrecht in 2015, having previously been in charge of Bayern Munich's reserve team.

He guided them to a fifth-placed finish in his first season in charge and to fourth spot last season. They lie sixth in the league this term.

Ten Hag's first game in charge of Ajax will be a heavyweight clash at home to champions Feyenoord on Jan. 21, after the winter break.