Edwin van der Sar open to Manchester United return amid technical director hunt


By Agencies

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar says he could return to Old Trafford as the club search for their first technical director.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is keen to appoint a suitable candidate to the role, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming he would be involved in the selection process.

United have never previously made the position part of their hierarchy but Van der Sar has been mooted as a possibility.

An appointment would add more ‘football knowledge’ to the club’s administration and the Dutchman, currently CEO at Ajax, has opened the door to a possible approach.

Van der Sar, who starred for United between 2005 and 2011, winning four Premier League titles and the Champions League, still has strong connections to the club.

He told The Times: “United is a much bigger challenge than Ajax.

“They’re not just a big and famous club but also a worldwide brand, yet when you’re inside, it’s still a family place.

“The washing ladies, Mike the chef, Kath (the receptionist), they’re still there.

“You need to cherish that and Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) is doing a great job at it.”

Van der Sar, 48, is an admirer of Woodward, who started out at the club as part of United’s commercial arm, and hinted he would be happy to work under him.

“Also Ed, I have utmost respect for him and what he does for the club so I don’t need to be the big man.

“I want to feel I can contribute and you can only do it for something you believe in.”

Van der Sar played for Ajax between 1990 and 1999, becoming their marketing director in 2012 and CEO in 2016.

Former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars is the club’s technical director and has inspired the former keeper to aim high.

“I’m really happy in Amsterdam and we’re not finished yet,” added Van der Sar.

“Marc always said you want to touch the crossbar. What he means is we want to reach a high point and that’s what we want to do for another couple of years.

“United is a special place, who knows, eventually but for now I’m here.”

Ajax face Juventus in the last eight of the Champions League with the first leg on Wednesday