Why Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has flown to Amsterdam for talks with rival bosses

Manchester United chief Woodward has some big decisions to make ahead of the summer transfer window.

Top of his priority list is the appointment of a new manager, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer poised to land the job full-time having impressed since the sacking of Jose Mourinho three months ago.

Manchester United also have much transfer business to conduct. Kalidou Koulibaly, Philippe Coutinho, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes are all being linked ahead of the summer window.

Woodward has been spotted in Amsterdam over the international break, fuelling talk he could be there to negotiate with Ajax.

Centre-back Matthijs de Ligt has been linked – as well as the impressive Hakim Ziyech.

But Woodward was actually in Holland for talks with rival club bosses.

The United supremo visited Amsterdam for the 22nd European Club Association General Assembly, which also welcomed other masterminds from top clubs around the world.

Main items on the General Assembley agenda include addresses from FIFA and UEFA, the two big governing bodies of the sport.

And, there, club chiefs from around the world discuss footballing matters.

The ECA’s big discussions this week focused on a revamped Club World Cup, as well as the future of the Champions League.

The ECA has already rejected FIFA’s proposal for a rejuvenated Club World Cup – to be played in the summer months rather than the current winter schedule.

And the Association want to look at ways to evolve the Champions League by 2024, with the proposition of additional leagues creating a tiered system where clubs and achieve promotion and relegation.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar – who now works for Ajax and is also the ECA vice-chairman – has revealed there will be a cap on away ticket prices in UEFA competitions.

United fans are set to be charged £102m to watch their team face Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League next month.

United reacted to this announcement by setting Barca’s ticket prices at the same level for the reverse leg at Old Trafford – and then agreed to subsidise the United away tickets.

“Speaking as a former player, we want vocal fans at games and most of the time that’s the support that travels to domestic away games, too,” Van Der Sar said.

“We have fans who watch on TV all around the world but I think it’s important that we keep football affordable for local fans so they can travel at home and abroad.”

“Ed [Woodward] has done a lot of background research and talked a little with those who know me, who know the club and who I have worked with,” he said.

“Then they took the chance.

“It is not up to me to consider if I live up to the standard, but I feel much more at home in this building, at Old Trafford, with these players, than I have ever done.”

United are next in action against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm). 


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