Edwin van der Sar insists he’s ‘honoured’ when Man United and Co bid for Ajax’s big stars because it shows they’re doing something right despite losing likes of Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech last summer
- Ajax sold Donny van de Beek to Manchester United in a £40m deal in September
- Hakim Ziyech left the Dutch giants at the end of last season to join Chelsea
- In 2019, Ajax sold Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus
Edwin van der Sar says he is ‘honoured’ when former club Manchester United and other European giants try and buy Ajax’s stars.
Van der Sar is the Dutch giants chief executive and has seen many of their talented youngsters go on to pastures new.
In September, United paid £40million to sign midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax. Meanwhile, Hakim Ziyech also departed for Chelsea in a £37.8m deal this summer – that was pre-agreed in February.
Edwin van der Sar (right) says he is ‘honoured’ when a top European club buys an Ajax player
Donny van de Beek (left) and Hakim Ziyech are both playing in the Premier League this season
The year before the Eredivisie outfit sold Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona in a £65m deal too, while Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus in a £68m move.
Speaking to The Athletic, Van der Sar said: ‘We know the ambition of the players and if our players are not good enough to be scouted by the top clubs, then we are doing something wrong.
‘If Chelsea hadn’t scouted Hakim Ziyech, we’d have done something wrong.
‘It sounds strange but we are almost honoured if Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are coming for our players.
‘Of course, I’d rather keep them but, having been a player myself, if you give us great service, league titles and commitment, then we think with you and set you along for the next part of your career.
‘But we hope that you come back to Ajax and play for another one or two years, come onto our coaching staff or be like myself and Marc [Overmars – the club’s football director].’
Frenkie de Jong (left) and Matthijs de Ligt both started their careers at Ajax before leaving