Ajax To Appoint A Clubman
Ajax CEO Edwin van der Saar has announced that the club's next manager will be someone that is familiar with the culture of the club, suggesting that the new boss will be a former player or manager - or both.
The announcement has seen Frank De Boer, who won 4 Eredivisie titles with the club between 2010 and 2016, become the short-price favourite after losing his job at Internazionale last year. De Boer has spent over 25 years in total at the club, from his time as a junior through to his playing and managerial career, and certainly fits the bill as a man ingrained into the Ajax culture.
Another name which has now come to the fray is ex-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, who was last at Ajax in 1997 but crucially delivered the club it's most recent European Cup triumph in 1995. The 66 year old wasn't expected to take up another role after his ill-fated spell in England, but the lure of home could tempt him to throw his hat in the ring.
Danny Blind played over 400 times for the Dutch giants and has been heavily involved in the club since then, with stints as manager, assistant manager, director of football and technical director. Blind was sacked from his job as Netherlands manager after failing to secure World Cup qualification but will hope this failure does not rule him out of a return to Amsterdam.
Although de Boer, van Gaal and Blind are looming as favourites, there are a number of candidates thought to be in contention.
Possible Ajax Managers
Dennis Bergkamp*, 1986-93 (player), 2011- (assistant manager)
Danny Blind, 1986-99 (player), 2005-06 (manager)
Frank De Boer, 1988-99 (player), 2010-16 (manager)
John Heitinga*, 2001-08, 2015-16 (player), 2017- (youth manager)
Patrick Kluivert, 1994-97 (player), 2016 (youth manager)
Marc Overmars*, 1992-97 (player), 2012- (director of football)
Frank Rijkaard, 1980-87, 1993-95 (player)
Clarence Seedorf, 1992-95 (player)
Marco van Basten, 1981-87 (player), 2008-09 (manager)
Louis van Gaal, 1978-80 (player), 1991-97 (manager)
* denotes current Ajax staff member