(Reuters) – Ajax Amsterdam appointed Utrecht boss Erik ten Hag as their new head coach on a two-and-a-half year contract on Thursday.
The 47-year-old Dutchman will replace Marcel Keizer, sacked last week after the four times European champions were knocked out of the Dutch Cup by Twente Enschede.
Ten Hag worked alongside Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, where he coached the club’s reserve team, before returning to the Netherlands to take charge at Utrecht in 2015.
He guided Utrecht to a fifth place finish in the championship in his first season in charge and to fourth spot last season.
Ten Hag’s Utrecht also reached the Dutch Cup final in 2016 where they lost 2-1 to Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Feyenoord.
Ajax sit second in the Dutch championship, five points behind PSV Eindhoven, who they beat 3-0 on Dec. 10.
Ten Hag’s first game in charge of Ajax will be at home against champions Feyenoord on Jan. 21 after the winter break.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, Editing by William Maclean)