Manchester United are in a state of flux with many changes taking place in the background. While Erik ten Hag has joined as the new manager, he will be assisted by Richard Arnold, who replaced executive vice chairman Ed Woodward on February 1. And now The Daily Mail have reported that in a bid to tackle the legal elements of player negotiations during the current transfer window, the club are set to appoint Tom Keane on a consultancy basis. He will replace outgoing negotiations director Matt Judge.
Tom Keane will be familiar to United supporters as he is the brother of former academy graduates Michael and Will. Michael currently plies his trade for fellow Premier League side Everton, while Will represents Wigan Athletic.
Keane, currently employed with Brandsmiths legal firm, has experience in managing high-profile clients. His profile on the Brandsmiths website reads: “In sport, Tom has vast experience in the football industry where he has become a trusted advisor and representative for household name players, managers and pundits.
EXC: Man Utd set to appoint lawyer Tom Keane – brother of Everton defender Michael – to key transfer role. Keane expected to join on a consultancy basis and will take on responsibilities vacated by outgoing Matt Judge. Story with @AdrianJKajumba https://t.co/jFT7fw18hI
— Sami Mokbel (@SamiMokbel81_DM) June 23, 2022
“His work for these clients includes negotiating high-value transfers, contracts and endorsement agreements.”
Keane will now take on some of the duties that fell under Judge’s job profile. He will bring in some much needed experience with the likes of Murtough and Darren Fletcher having recently taken up their new roles of football director and technical director.
The Athletic has mentioned that a contract is still to be signed between the club and Keane, but he is highly likely to join.
The club is currently trying to sort out the legalities with respect to Keane’s appointment. His name is listed as an FA-registered intermediary for New Era Global Sports. The player agency is known to have close ties with former Red and legendary defender Rio Ferdinand.
FA rules strictly prohibit agents from being directly involved with the running of a club and the Old Trafford outfit are trying to ensure they do not run afoul of the rules.
The Football Association has already determined that Keane no longer remains a registered intermediary which means an imminent arrival is on the cards.
Judge had been a part of United from 2012 and was responsible for transfer and contract negotiations since 2104 during Woodward’s tenure.
Other changes in the club’s structure include the departures of senior scouting heads Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout as well as Chief strategy officer Hemen Tseayo.
Ten Hag will be hoping that Keane’s arrival hastens the transfer negotiations so that players start arriving faster. United are currently still locked in talks with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong. However, positions in attack as well as defence also need to be concluded after a disastrous Premier League season last time around.