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Edwin van der Sar confirms Man Utd contact and admits deciding factor in new CEO role

Edwin van der Sar has responded to speculation he could replace Ed Woodward as Manchester United’s chief executive.

Van der Sar has long been linked with a director of football role at Old Trafford, having impressed in his role as Ajax’s CEO.

So it was only natural that speculation would turn to the United legend after it was announced that executive vice-chairman Woodward was to step down at the end of this year following the furious backlash to the European Super League fiasco.

Van der Sar has helped restore Ajax’s reputation as one of Europe’s most respected clubs during his time in charge.

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And he has now confirmed he has previously been contacted by United over a potential role at his former club.

Edwin van der Sar has been linked with the chief exec's role at Manchester United
Edwin van der Sar has been linked with the chief exec’s role at Manchester United

The former goalkeeper said if he were to leave his position at Ajax, it would have to be for a club he “likes” – and that would appear to rule the Red Devils in after he won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during six seasons with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

Asked about the recent rumours, Van der Sar told ESPN’s Good Morning Eredivisie: ” Manchester United? It’s always nice to read positive things about you.

“Everyone is ambitious in life. Did they contact me? Yes, a few years ago already.”

Van der Sar added: “I couldn’t do this job at a club I don’t like. I am extremely happy with what we have been able to achieve at Ajax.

“Ten years ago we had the ambition to join Europe’s elite and we have lived up to those words. We did that through hard work and without a rich sugar daddy or government funding to help us.”

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Van der Sar said several factors would have to be right if he were to switch to United – including how it would affect his home life in his native Netherlands.

“What kind of CEO is Manchester United looking for? I am not your typical CEO,” said the 50-year-old.

“I am a CEO more for the football side of things. Ajax is very structured. Manchester United is so different and you have to work with several owners there too.

“Does that suit you or do you like your life in Noordwijk and Amsterdam enough? That is the question.”

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