Manchester United great Nicky Butt has officially stepped down from his role as head of first-team development after nine years at the club working in various positions.
The former midfielder is on the lookout for a fresh challenge and there are rumours he could look to be a part of the team he co-owns with some members of the Class of 92 in Salford.
United have recently announced new director of football and technical director roles for John Murtough and Darren Fletcher respectively and so they’ve continued to rejig the club’s structure.
The two new roles probably overlap a lot with what Butt was doing so in some sense it’s no real surprise he opted to leave.
However, fans and perhaps even some backroom staff would have loved it if he took up a different role instead of leaving entirely.
According to the club’s official website, Butt said: “Having come through the Academy myself to play almost 400 games for Manchester United, it has been an absolute privilege to come back and work with a new generation of talent making that same journey.
“I’m proud of the role everyone on the staff plays in giving our young footballers the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential, and the results are clear to see in the increased number of homegrown players reaching the first team.
“I already know from my playing days how difficult it is to leave Manchester United, but it feels like the right moment for a new professional challenge and I look forward to exploring opportunities that build on the great experiences I’ve had here over the past nine years.”
Butt played a key role in the revival of Manchester United’s academy after it was accused of having gone stale, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Dean Henderson, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood all breaking through during his time there.
Fans will undoubtedly be hoping his departure doesn’t result in the academy falling into disarray again, though that would take some time to happen as it’s looking rather healthy at the time being.