Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has once again been approached by the club, who want him to leave Ajax and become their director of football.
Erik ten Hag has personally reached out to Edwin van der Sar to try and convince him to leave Ajax for Manchester United, according to reports in the Netherlands.
United have long been tipped to hire a new director of football to bolster their backroom staff following a dreadful 2021/22 season. But with John Murtough in charge as the current football director, reports have died down recently, with the focus on Ten Hag implementing his style of football.
Former United goalkeeper and Ajax’s current CEO Van der Sar has been linked with the role before, but signed a new contract with the Dutch champions in September. The 51-year-old is under contract with Ajax until June 2025, yet that hasn’t stopped Ten Hag from contacting his former colleague.
According to Voetbal Primeur, Ten Hag reached out to Van der Sar last week to discuss the possibility of him leaving Amsterdam for Manchester. It is unclear whether the ex-goalkeeper is keen to move back to Old Trafford, but Danny Blind could replace him at Ajax if he does take up the offer.
Van der Sar made 266 appearances for Manchester United between 2005 and his retirement in 2011. He helped the club win four Premier League titles, the Champions League and three League Cups before moving back to the Netherlands.
After initially taking up a role as Ajax’s marketing manager, Van der Sar was promoted to chief executive in 2016. He has overseen a successful period in the club’s history, with Ajax winning the last three Eredivisie titles. Speaking about United’s interest in May 2021, Van der Sar said: “What kind of CEO is Manchester United looking for? I am not your typical CEO.
I am a CEO more for the football side of things. Ajax is very structured. Manchester United is so different and you have to work with several owners there too. Does that suit you or do you like your life in Noordwijk and Amsterdam enough? That is the question.”
Van der Sar appears very happy with his current role at Ajax. “Every day I get to work with enthusiastic co-workers who also want to keep raising the bar,” he told the Ajax club website after signing a new contract.
“Not only with the first team, but also in the office, the youth academy, and the Ajax Women. The stadium is always packed and the growth in sales of various Ajax kits to young and old, not only national but also international, is unreal. We feel the support of our fans home and away. Enough reasons to keep putting my heart and soul in this club [for] the coming years.”