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08th Apr 2019

Edwin van der Sar open to Manchester United return

Jack O'Toole

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has said that he would consider a future role at Old Trafford after being linked with a return to the club as a sporting director.

The 48-year-old began working as a marketing director for Ajax in late 2012 and later took over as the club’s CEO in 2016 with former teammate Marc Overmars serving as Director of Football.

The former Red insisted that the club is still very much a family place, and while he said that he is happy with his current role at Ajax, he may be tempted by a job with United in the future.

“You need to cherish that and Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is doing a great job at it. But also Ed [Woodward],” van der Sar told The Sunday Times.

“I have utmost respect for him, what he does for the club. So I don’t need to be the big man. I want to feel I contribute, and you can only do it for something you believe in.

“United is a special place. Who knows, eventually? But for the coming years I’m here.”

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has said that United have made a lot of changes on how they conduct the football side of the club over the last few years but that they will continue to review their structures with relation to the opening of a director of football role.

“With regards to the the director of football, lots has been written about this,” Woodward said during a recent United investors’ call. “I would say that looking at our structures and looking at how we should strengthen, all areas of the club is something we’re doing on a continual basis.

“We’ve done a lot of changes within the football side in the last four or five years, in particular around the academy, where we’ve materially increased investment and we’re seeing the quality of that now coming on.

“On the football side, we’ve invested around the recruitment side, the player care side, continued investment with facilities, medical and sports science, so the evolution is continuing.

“It’s not necessarily that visible to the outside and, in some respects, you get a multi-year return later on [rather] than an immediate impact. But in regards to the overall structure, we are looking at that (the head of football role) and ways we can make it stronger and it is something we’ll do on a continual basis.”

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