Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has brought an end to talk of a summer move to Manchester United, insisting he has had no contact with the Premier League club. The 26-year-old shotstopper had been considered Louis van Gaal's favoured candidate to replace David de Gea should the Spain international leave the side to join Real Madrid.
The Daily Telegraph reported in July that United have an agreement in place with Ajax to sign Cillessen, if De Gea moves on before the summer transfer window closes on 1 September.
But with just eight days of the window ;eft, Ajax are growing increasingly confident of holding on to their goalkeeper, with Cillessen himself insisting he will remain at the club this season.
When asked about United, Cillessen told NOS: "As far as I know it has never been an item," as reported by ESPN. "I, the club, or my agent have never heard anything. As for me, this season begins and ends at Ajax."
United manager Louis van Gaal has exiled De Gea from his squad during the opening weeks of the season, selecting Argentina international Sergio Romero in the club's first four games. The Dutchman insists De Gea will have no role to play until the transfer window closes, leaving him to watch on from the stands alongside fellow goalkeeping outcasts Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard.
Former United custodian Edwin van der Sar believes the goalkeeping situation at Old Trafford is "astonishing", but as a director at Ajax, he is keen to ensure Cillessen is not used to address the problem at the Premier League side.
"It is obvious there is a lot more going on in the background," Van der Sar told the Mirror. "As a former United employee and goalkeeper of the club, I find it astonishing that I see three established goalkeepers – De Gea, Anders Lindegaard and Victor Valdes – in the stands watching United play.
"Also, Sergio Romero is a free agent who has hardly played a league game over the past two years, yet is in the starting line-up.
"Cillessen's name is being mentioned as a replacement for De Gea but, as a director for Ajax, I am working hard to keep our best player."