​Manchester United are keen to appoint a director of football at the club, with Edwin van der Sar once again linked as one of the primary targets to take up the brand new role.

The retired goalkeeper was signed by the Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005 and went on to play 266 times for the Red Devils, scooping four Premier League titles and a Champions League in a hugely successful spell at the club.

A summer transfer window saw ​United bring in three new players for a total outlay of just over £140m, but there was clear failure to land other members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's targets -primarily in forward positions - which has made the club rethink their hierarchy structure.

One such option moving forward would be the implementation of a director of football, who would work directly with the manager to try and realise their transfer targets. The ​Mirror claim that one candidate for the role is Van der Sar, who is currently chief executive at Ajax.

The Dutchman was promoted to the role in 2016, having initially been appointed at marketing director, and has overseen superb growth of the club in recent years, earning himself a glowing reputation in the process.

Having helped develop the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, Ed Woodward would be overjoyed to see such talent rise through the ranks at Old Trafford. Former United players including Rio Ferdinand and Darren Fletcher have been touted, but none with the experience of Van der Sar.

A powerful figure on the board of the European Club Association, if he is offered the position it would pose a dilemma to the 48-year-old who would be walking away from a club who are once again in the ​Champions League and have accrued a healthy bank balance of £220m from recent players sales.

Ed Woodward

Leaving the club at this stage would be considered betrayal by Ajax supporters, although the lure of returning to one of the biggest clubs in the ​Premier League may be hard to refuse.

There is also the situation of Van der Sar's wife, who suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2009, and while her condition has stabilised, it may be too soon to depart the Netherlands.

The likes of fellow United alumni Michael Carrick, Nicky Butt and even Rio Ferdinand have previously been touted for the role, while ​Norwich's sporting director Stuart Webber was linked back in May.