Edwin Van Der Sar has spoken of his ambitions for Ajax amid rumours linking him with a return to Manchester United as technical director.
The former United goalkeeper, who is now the chief executive at the Dutch club, is reportedly the prime target as the Old Trafford outfit continue their long search to fill the crucial off-field post.
United are thought to want to bring in a footballing figure to oversee their transfer policy.
Van Der Sar, 48, has played a key role in Ajax’s resurgence in recent years, which included reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season.
But the Dutchman did not fuel speculation linking him with United when speaking to reporters after playing in former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany’s testimonial at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
Van Der Sar, who played for United from 2005-11, said: “I am enjoying my time at Ajax. I’ve got a different role – chief executive.
“I am really looking forward to bringing Ajax back to the European top level – that we probably touched last year – and to make sure we get the best opportunity to stay there.”
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Eric Cantona has explained the cryptic speech he gave at the UEFA Champions League draw in Monaco at the end of August.
The former France international and Manchester United icon said the basis of his acceptance speech for the 2019 UEFA President’s Award was a line from William Shakespeare’s King Lear, which Cantona attributed to British artist Francis Bacon.
The full quote reads: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods. They kill us for their sport.”
The 53-year-old Cantona went on to say in his speech that science will soon find a way to stop ageing and death.
Ryan Giggs described Daniel James as unstoppable after the Manchester United winger maintained his hot scoring streak in Wales’ 1-0 friendly win over Belarus.
James – who has scored three goals in four games for United since his summer switch from Swansea – curled home a superb 17th-minute winner from 18 yards.
The 21-year-old was a constant danger before replaced after 50 minutes by Gareth Bale, who started on the bench and passed on the captain’s armband to Joe Allen.
“He (James) is one of those players, you know what he’s going to do but you can’t stop it,” Wales manager Giggs said.
“There are so many goals (he’s scored) like that. He can go either way.
“Early on when I saw DJ, just like any young winger, there can be that improvement in the final ball and scoring more goals.
“But he’s doing that. To do what he’s done at the start of the season is amazing.
“The next step obviously is that consistency, which he’s shown so far and he needs to carry on. But I’ve got no doubts that will happen because he wants to be the best.”
Giggs made five changes from the side that had beaten Azerbaijan 2-1 in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday.
Bristol City midfielder Joe Morrell and Wigan striker Kieffer Moore made their debuts and it proved a comfortable Cardiff victory against limited opposition.
On a positive night that brought a rare clean sheet for Wales, there was further good news in their European Championship qualifying section.
Leaders Croatia were held 1-1 by bottom team Azerbaijan in Baku, while Hungary – who started the evening in second spot – lost 2-1 at home to Slovakia.
“I don’t think they’re the worst results in the world,” Giggs said.
“It was a difficult one with Hungary and Slovakia. We definitely didn’t want a Hungary win.
“But we’ve got to focus on ourselves. It’s still in our hands.
“It’s been a good week training and I’ll look keenly at a couple of players who could make the squad for the next game.
“I just hope everyone else stays healthy, and the key for me is for my players to get games.
“All I ask is that they’re playing – if I’m going to be greedy, playing in the positions I want them to be playing in. That’s the ideal situation for an international manager.
“But I’m delighted with the way the two games have gone.”
Belarus manager Mikhail Markhel admitted debutant defender Nikolay Zolotov might have seen red had the game been a competitive match.
Zolotov was booked early on and was guilty of several crude challenges, including a bad tackle on Harry Wilson in the second half.
“It was his debut and he played quite good,” Markhel said.
“But as with any player who plays for the national team for the first time, he was slightly stressed and enthusiastic.
“It’s understood by the coaching staff that if it was not a friendly match he could have been sent off.”
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