Following his departure from Ajax, Edwin van der Sar is unlikely to return to his previous club Manchester United. The former goalkeeper worked closely with Erik Ten Hag last season before Ten Hag took over at Old Trafford, and he had been linked with a reunion in Manchester, but reports suggest the Glazers are unlikely to make another approach to appoint the club icon.
The former Dutch international joined Ajax’s board in 2012 and was named CEO four years later. However, he resigned from his position this week, citing the need to recover from the stress of his day-to-day employment.
“We have shared wonderful experiences, but it has also been an incredibly difficult period,” Van der Sar said in a club statement. “I feel the need to get some distance, rest, and do other things.”
“It does not feel good to make decisions about the future of this wonderful club in the near future.” That’s why I’ve decided to step down.”
The 52-year-old is now free to be contacted after leaving his position, but The Mirror reports that United will not make a bid to sign Van der Sar.
Under the rules of his contract with Ajax, he is obligated to work a notice period until the end of August, which would rule him out for the majority of the transfer window and the start of next season.
The club’s probable sale is now being negotiated with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim’s The Nine Two Foundation consortium, and while talks are ongoing, the Glazer family is ‘unlikely’ to contact Van der Sar for a position in the United hierarchy.
Van der Sar has been connected with a board seat at United following his remarkable performance at Ajax, which coincided with a run of four Eredivisie titles, as well as a trip to the Champions League semi-finals and Europa League finals in 2017.
He did, however, pass down an opportunity to work with Ten Hag last year because he believed he still had work to do in the Netherlands.
“It’s never been that close,” he told The New York Times last October. “I have a good relationship with the board and had a fantastic six years in Manchester, but I’m not finished here yet.”
A future move cannot be ruled out given Sheikh Jassim’s propensity for former United players to work at the club. Van der Sar, who won 11 titles and made 266 appearances for Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, will not be among those signing just yet.