Europa League final: Manchester United in unsafe situation - Phil Neville

If the Red Devils, who are probably slight favourites against a young Ajax side, win the game, they will have ensured their place in next season's Champions League and captured their third trophy of the season.

Spurs will, of course, be desperate to keep hold of Kane as they look to build a team around the forward, but Merson has suggested that Man United would be able to poach the 17-time England worldwide. This is United and Ajax's fifth meeting in Europe; the past four produced two wins for each side. It is the work from mainly from the commercial people and the revenues they have created. "But I don't have a foot in both sides".

Success in reaching a first European club competition final in 21 years has revitalised the Ajax brand.

"With so many at the same time, I think they really need my support, (reserves manager) Nicky Butt's support (and) supporters to understand the hard job they have, because it will not be an easy one for them". For a club of the stature of Ajax, it's been too long that we were away from the global podium.

Across a motorway bridge from the Amsterdam ArenA, soon to be renamed the Johan Cruyff Stadium in honour of the club legend, the De Koemkost training ground houses the next generation of Ajax superstars, as well as a collection of former greats trying to help the team emulate its glorious past.

"We've got a fantastic squad and we're all itching to play in the final", he said. "We'd watch the Champions League and we'd be wishing next season we are there".

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He admits the build-up to this final has been far more stressful.

"The manager has always made me feel wanted and I owe him a lot for that".

"Now a lot of my emphasis and energy is organising how to get 10,000 people to Stockholm, getting the right people there and making sure the security is in order".

Ajax are finally flickering into life after two decades floundering on a stage they used to dominate. Their performances in the Premier League and Europa League have not been very convincing. Attacking midfielder Davy Klaasen has been in prolific form this season, with 18 goals in all competitions, while 19-year-old Danish forward Kasper Dolberg has plundered 22 goals, including home and away strikes in the semi-final against Lyon. We can bring back a European title for the club which is very important.

A focus on improving exposure and revenues was sharpened by his time at Old Trafford, although coming through the ranks in Amsterdam means the academy remains the bedrock.

For United, a second straight season outside the European elite would not only be a blow for the fans and the club's status but could also affect their ability to recruit the very best talent from across the globe.

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