Edwin van der Sar has signed a new contract as CEO of Ajax Amsterdam, effectively ruling him out of further consideration for the Manchester United Director of Football role he has been heavily linked with over the past few months.
Reports have swirled for some time now that Manchester United is hoping to find someone to create the new role for, taking recruitment and roster duties off the shoulders of chief executive Ed Woodward, and van der Sar seemed an ideal candidate given his history with the club and rise to prominence at Ajax.
However, van der Sar signed a new four-year deal at the Dutch club on Friday, he announced on social media, tying him to Ajax through 2023.
Van der Sar had previously expressed interest in the role, saying “of course, I’d be interested in a position” at the club he won three Premier League titles with, but also later clarified that he would only accept a chief executive role, not a specific Director of Football role to which he was linked.
“I am a chief executive – and that is a very different role to director of football,” van der Sar said. He has little experience on the player recruitment side of things at Ajax, instead mostly focused on the business aspect of the club. The same logic has Manchester United fans frustrated with Woodward, who is a more business-focused individual thrust into the role of player recruitment at Old Trafford, a job which he has struggled with over the past half-decade as the Red Devils look to return to the prominence they sustained under Sir Alex Ferguson.