The former Arsenal star has made a sterling reputation for himself at Ajax during his tenure in Amsterdam and would be interested in bringing headh coach Erik ten Hag with him
Marc Overmars has opened talks with Newcastle about becoming the Toon’s director of football.
Mirror Sport understands that the Tyneside club’s new Saudi owners have made contact with the 48-year-old former Arsenal winger, who has developed a reputation for identifying, recruiting and developing world-class talent at Ajax over the last nine years.
Two intermediaries working on behalf of Newcastle have sounded out Overmars – and the Dutchman is interested in moving to St James’ Park after being told he will be given the resources to awaken the sleeping giant.
And, according to sources in Holland, Overmars wants to bring Ajax coach Erik ten Hag with him.
Overmars has almost three years left on the contract he signed with the Amsterdam club in 2019 – but the agreement included a clause which means he can walk away after serving just three months’ notice to move to one of Europe’s top leagues.
It is likely that Newcastle will offer to pay Ajax compensation to smooth the departure of the man who scored against the Magpies in the 1998 FA Cup final.
Personal terms will not be an issue either – although Overmars has also been made aware that Newcastle’s owners, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, have a short-list that also includes two other candidates.
They are understood to be Lille’s Portuguese sporting director Luis Campos, who is credited with developing the talents of Kylian Mbappe, Fabinho and Anthony Martial at Monaco, and Liverpool’s highly-respected Michael Edwards, who is set to leave Anfield at the end of the season.
Overmars, who enjoyed a glittering playing career that saw him star for Ajax and Barcelona either side of a successful three-year spell with Arsenal that saw him help Arsene Wenger’s team win a Premier League and FA Cup Double, currently earns £620,000-a-year in Holland, including bonuses.
He would expect to quadruple his earnings on Tyneside.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund brought Mike Ashley’s controversial 14-year Newcastle reign to an end earlier this month when they completed a £300million buy-out and arrived with a promise to make the Toon genuine title and Champions League contenders inside a decade.
The new era began with a 3-1 home defeat to Tottenham – and hastened the sacking of manager Steve Bruce with the club in the bottom three.
Money will be spent during the transfer window in a bid to ease any threat of relegation.
But while Newcastle have suddenly become the richest club in football – their owners are worth £750billion – they will want value for money. And Overmars ticks all the boxes.
Ajax have won four Eredivisie titles during his time at the club as well as two Dutch Cups since his appointment.
They have also qualified for the Champions League group stages seven times, reaching the semi-final in 2019 and the quarter-final last season.
That’s despite selling £600million of talent, including £72million Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona and Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus for £59million.
Davinson Sanchez joined Spurs for £35.5million and Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek moved to Chelsea and Manchester United respectively for £33.75million each.
Ajax’s biggest transfer outlay during that time has been the £20million they paid West Ham for striker Sebastien Haller.
Overmars has also enhanced Ajax’s reputation for developing homegrown talent, with no fewer than 42 academy graduates making it into the first team during his tenure.
He has been heavily linked with a return to Arsenal in recent years as the Gunners looked to rebuild, while the financial strife at Barcelona prompted him to reject a chance to talk about moving to the Nou Camp with Dutch coach Ronald Koeman.
Overmars loved his time in England so much that he bought himself a red telephone box for his garden and became a collector of UK car number plates.
He became a father during his time at Arsenal but felt it important to base his career in Holland while twin sons Frenkie and Nick were growing up.