After an extensive search following the resignation of manager, Casey Stoney in May, Manchester United are closing in on appointing Orlando Pride head-coach, Marc Skinner as new Women’s team manager.
There is still a way to go in concluding the deal but talks are reportedly positive between the Florida NWSL side and United.
There was disappointment amongst the squad and fans alike following the resignation of Stoney, who in her three years at the helm managed the fledgling United women’s side to promotion to the WSL in their first season, a memorable League Cup Manchester Derby victory and an overall win percentage of 67.5%.
It is also a blow for the Reds to be on the cusp of losing the talented 19 year-old, Lauren James to rivals Chelsea.
However, there is optimism around the appointment of Skinner.
According to The Telegraph, the United squad have voiced excitement ahead of potentially working with the former Birmingham City manager, Skinner.
With Birmingham, he reached the 2017 Women’s FA Cup Final beating a formidable Chelsea side on the way.
His teams like to pass the ball on the ground and out from the back while being defensively sound.
In the 10-strong NWSL, Pride currently sit fifth.
If he is to be recruited by United, he will have the benefit of working with recent signing and one of the highest rated midfielders in Europe, Vilde Boa Risa.
Boa Risa is a lifelong United fan and her signing on a two year deal is said to be largely down to the insistence of Stoney before she left.
Although there have been some setbacks, the hope is that, with some more solid recruitment, including that of Skinner, the United Women can at least consolidate last season’s 4th place finish.
However, Stoney’s now unfulfilled ambition to push the team further than that may once again highlight how the club’s ownership cut corners.