Home » How Manchester United struck Marcel Sabitzer deal on Deadline Day

How Manchester United struck Marcel Sabitzer deal on Deadline Day

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United received very bad news on deadline day regarding the injury status of Christian Eriksen and the club were forced to take action.

Erik ten Hag confirmed that the Dane was set to miss a large chunk of the season and the earliest he could return was in May.

Considering that the Red Devils were still fighting on all four fronts and were set to play their first domestic final is six years. Ten Hag’s on-field excellence needed to be supported.

But it is easier said than done as experienced by former interim manager Ralf Rangnick. Last season, during the January window, the former RB Leipzig coach asked the club for reinforcements.

Emergency protocol initiated

But they flat out refused and that took a heavy toll as United crashed out of every competition while finishing a lowly sixth in the Premier League.

But under the Dutchman, the club has started progressing not only on the field but off it as well.

ESPN have detailed what went on at the club after Eriksen’s prognosis arrived and how swiftly the club acted in order to seal the loan deal for Marcel Sabitzer.

United’s think-tank which includes the manager, football director, deputy director and recruitment heads all sat down and had a meeting and thus activated the “emergency protocol”.

An exhaustive list of potential targets were readied and the club got to work and finished their job in 12 hours only, impressive job by the recruitment department which has been criticised before for dragging their feet when it mattered.

“As soon as it became clear Eriksen would be sidelined for months rather than weeks, the team led by football director John Murtough, deputy football director Andy O’Boyle, director of data science Dominic Jordan and head of recruitment operations Steve Brown activated an “emergency protocol” designed to quickly identify realistic targets in problem positions.

“On Monday, Ten Hag was presented with a list of 10 names — considered to be potentially available and deemed to be of sufficient quality,” the report revealed.

Murtough madness and ETH phone call

The club had a lot of data on Sabitzer due to United previously being linked with a move for the Austrian and a phone call between the player and manager convinced the club to go for the kill after Sabitzer mentioned how desperate he was to come to Old Trafford.

Interestingly, negotiations with Bayern Munich went smoothly mainly due to the good relationships between the two clubs, something Murtough has been credited with doing since taking over his new role.

“Negotiations with Bayern — which only began hours before the 11 p.m. GMT cut-off — were straightforward because of an existing strong relationship between the clubs, something Murtough has looked to cultivate with all of Europe’s top sides since taking on the role as football director in March 2021.”

Another factor that helped United get the best possible deal over the line was the fact that that they have moved the entire recruitment operation to Carrington rather than having it split between offices in London and Manchester.

This allowed for meetings to happen swiftly which in turn helped the deal progress a lot quicker.

The punishing fixture schedule meant the club needed to back the manager and they did the best they could considering the Glazers’ stance of not spending in January. Now, it is up to Ten Hag to continue his magic.


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