Manchester United legend Edwin van der Sar worked closely with current Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag during his time at Ajax and the pair have been linked with a possible reunion
Edwin van der Sar insists he has no intention of returning to Manchester United – despite previously hinting he would open to the move.
The Red Devils, fresh off the appointment of former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as First Team Manager, are continuing to look at ways of overhauling the footballing operation. John Murtough is currently operating as Football Director, working in conjunction with Technical Director Darren Fletcher and Richard Arnold – who was named as CEO at the start of the year.
Arnold’s counterpart at Ajax, Van der Sar has been perennially linked with a return to the club he helped win the Champions League in 2008. That speculation has only intensified since Ten Hag swapped Amsterdam for Manchester, with the two enjoying a close working relationship.
Earlier this week, Voetbal Primeur reported that the United manager reached out to the keeper-turned-executive to discuss the possibility of him joining his revolution at Old Trafford. And back in 2019, Van der Sar suggested he would be open to an approach to joining one of the two loves of his professional career.
Besides my family, my wife and kids and everything I have two loves in my life,” Van der Sar explained, speaking to Planet Futbol, as quoted by The Express. “That’s Ajax, who gave me the opportunity to develop, they scouted me, they gave me the chance to shine in the world of football.
“And the last club of my career, also gave me a lot of attention, recognition and everything, developed at a later stage. And of course I’d be interested, interested in a position.
But I need to learn a little more here [at Ajax], develop myself further and of course eventually let’s see what the future brings. United is a fantastic club, there’s a great following all over the world. Everybody wants to play for them and eventually, work for them.”
However, after a summer which saw his beloved Ajax not only lose their figurehead in the dugout, but also two of their star players, he is in no rush to move on. After joining United, Ten Hag raided his former employers for Lisandro Martinez and Antony with Ajax now at the start of another transition.
Asked about joining United, Van der Sar told the Times: “It’s never been that close. I have a good relationship with the board and I had a fantastic six years in Manchester, but I’m not finished here yet.”
Following a summer of change, Ajax are top of the Eredivisie, but below their high standards in the Champions League – a drop off the club’s CEO believes was anticipated.
It’s not strange,” Van der Sar said of their relative struggles. “After four or five years of losing the better players and adjusting with a new manager [Alfred Schreuder], we probably need a little bit more time to get the right step again.”