Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is restarting the club’s hunt for a new director of football and has reportedly made former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar his top target.
The executive vice-chairman has been looking to overhaul United’s approach to recruitment for some time, though paused his plans during the summer transfer window.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given free rein to go after his preferred targets, prioritising young, driven British talents who he felt possessed the right ‘DNA’ to play for United. But, according to the Mirror, Woodward still wants to bring in someone to aid Solskjaer and sees Van der Sar as the stand-out candidate.
The Dutchman is currently the CEO of Ajax – a role similar to that which Woodward has at Old Trafford – though he would be tasked with overseeing and refining United’s approach to recruitment.
Woodward is believed to have spoken to other former United players about roles at the club, including the likes of Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. But none have the know-how and experience of van der Sar, who has quickly become a key player on the board of the European Club Association.
Van der Sar will be difficult to prise away from Ajax and he is very happy in his current role in Amsterdam, while it is director of football Marc Overmars who performs the duties that Woodward expects from his appointment.
Under the pair, Ajax have turned over a profit in excess of £200million in recent seasons – selling the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong for huge fees – while also building a squad that won the Eredivisie last season and made the semi-final of the Champions League.