Reliable journalist Andy Mitten has confirmed that Manchester United were approached by top sporting directors ahead of the summer but turned them down in favour of appointing somebody ‘who knows the club’.
The need for somebody to dictate a broader footballing strategy at Old Trafford has become abundantly clear this season, with supporters growing furious with Ed Woodward’s business-oriented attitude towards footballing decisions, which has stripped the squad of direction and balance.
A number of names have been mentioned for the role. Darren Fletcher, who spent 13 years at the club, is the latest favourite for the role.
And Mitten has confirmed that United, as opposed to finding an established name with genuine clout in the market, have decided to look inwards.
This strategy is not negative in itself. Ajax’s footballing strategy, after all, is dictated by Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar, two former players.
What would be negative, however, would be the failure to properly install a sporting director with the power to shape long-term strategy and make all-encompassing decisions. Txiki Begiristain and Monchi are examples of sporting directors with this kind of power and the salutary effect it can have. Woodward, however, appears reluctant to fully swing in that direction.