With Ed Woodward set to leave Manchester United, hopes have been raised that Woodward could succeed him as the club's next chief executive.
Ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash against Leeds, much of the focus is on off-field matters, with fans having protested against the club's American owners outside Old Trafford on Saturday.
Anti-Glazer feelings have been heightened by last week's European Super League fiasco, while United last week announced that executive vice-chairman Woodward will step down at the end of 2021.
That sparked speculation he could be replaced by Van der Sar – currently the chief exec at Ajax, where his impressive work saw him previously touted as a potential director of football for United.
If he were to be appointed as Woodward's successor, Van der Sar would bring with him considerable football clout, as the winner of four Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup during his six-year spell as the Red Devils' goalkeeper.
But a United tradition points towards promoting from within rather than looking to a former player currently at another club.
United's last three chief executives have all been internal appointments, with Woodward having followed in the footsteps of David Gill and Peter Kenyon.
And Woodward is expected to choose his own successor before he leaves the club, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The publication says many staff at United are 'gutted' Woodward is leaving and shocked by the timing of his resignation.
Woodward has been widely viewed as a casualty of the Super League debacle following the shock announcement of his impending departure last week.
He was criticised by Uefa president Alexander Ceferin over his role in the controversial breakaway – but some sources are adamant Woodward was genuinely against the concept and has 'taken a bullet for the Glazers'.
Either way, if he sticks with the club's recent processes and chooses his replacement from within, that would rule out the prospect of Van der Sar becoming the next CEO.
That will disappoint some fans, with the former Netherlands international likely to be a popular option – while his own previous comments suggest he would have been open to the idea.
In 2019, Van der Sar told The Metro : “I am a chief executive – and that is a very different role to director of football. Besides my wife and children I have two loves in my life. They are Ajax and Manchester United.
“So of course I am interested in a position at United. But I think I need to learn a little bit more about myself as a chief executive at Ajax and develop myself even further.
"United is a fantastic club. So let’s see what the future brings.”
Two years down the line, Van der Sar may see himself as more ready to take charge of the The Premier League giants – but he may not get the opportunity.
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