Arsenal could throw a spanner in the works of Newcastle’s reported plans to snap up Ajax director Marc Overmars, according to former Tottenham ace Rafael van der Vaart. There has been plenty of speculation over recruitment both on and off the pitch at St James’ Park of late following their Saudi-led takeover, which has seen them become the richest club in world football.
There have been some suggestions that 48-year-old Dutchman Overmars could be tempted to Tyneside to become their new director of football and lead the revolution in the north-east.
However, the former winger has strong ties to the Gunners after playing for them for three seasons between 1997-2000, winning a Premier League and an FA Cup in that time.
And some are of the belief that he could be a long-term target for the north Londoners if they decide to also have a shake-up behind the scenes.
Speaking to Ziggo Sport, Van der Vaart stated his opinion that Overmars would favour a return to his former side over the Magpies if he ever decides to leave Ajax.
“He is doing so well that everyone wants him,” Van der Vaart said. “I think it’s great what they’ve been doing for years, with Edwin van der Sar together. It doesn’t surprise me.
“Maybe it’s a nice challenge at Newcastle United, but I think he’d much rather go to Arsenal. He has more of a reputation there, a connection, but I don’t think he’s going to do this.”
Ex-Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt also had his say on the situation while speaking as a pundit for RTL7 during the week.
He said: “I understand the interest from Newcastle. If you see what Marc Overmars has done for Ajax, with his buying and selling policy, I think he has learned a lot at Ajax in a way.
“He has done a fantastic job. I don’t think there is a better person for the position. The question is: is he going to make profit for a club that is going to spend millions?”
It remains to be seen if Newcastle are eventually able to tempt Overmars, but in the meantime their priority is on appointing a new manager following the sacking of Steve Bruce earlier this week.
Caretaker Graeme Jones has revealed that he has been asked to take charge of the next two games against Crystal Palace and Chelsea on an interim basis.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have spoken to former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, who is now the hot favourite for the job.
Fonseca held talks with Tottenham in the summer before Spurs eventually opted for Nuno Espirito Santo instead.
And he is a man who prioritises attacking football – something which would no doubt go down well with Toon fans.
Whether or not he is the correct figure to save them from relegation, however, is another story.