AMSTERDAM â€” Ajax defender Jaap Stam is expected to announce his immediate retirement Monday, ending a career that included three English Premier League championships and a Champions League title with Manchester United.
Ajax would not confirm or deny Stam's decision, but said the 35-year-old defender had scheduled a news conference for later Monday.
Stam came to prominence with PSV Eindhoven, where he played from 1996 to 1998, catching the eye of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
He transferred to United in 1998, the same year he played in the Dutch national team that reached the semifinals of the World Cup in France.
Stam was a key player at Old Trafford in the dominant teams that won the Premier League three times between 1998 and 2001 and the Champions League in 1999, the same year the Red Devils also won the FA Cup for a historic treble.
However, Stam was sold to Lazio in 2001, reportedly after falling out with Ferguson. He played for the Rome club until 2004, when he moved to AC Milan.
While Stam was at Lazio, he tested positive for nandrolone in 2001 and was banned for five months.
Stam moved to Ajax in 2006, but has struggled with injuries for much of his time in Amsterdam and has been frustrated by the club's European performances â€” Ajax failed to reach the Champions League group stage the last two seasons.
Stam was capped 67 times by the Netherlands and scored three goals. As well as making the 1998 World Cup semifinal, he was in the Dutch team that reached the last four at Euro 2000 and missed a penalty during the shootout that sent Italy into the final after the match ended 0-0. Stam again reached the semifinals at Euro 2004 before retiring from international soccer.