Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly considering Atalanta’s Lee Congerton for a possible sporting director role at Manchester United.
This comes as Sir Jim closes in on a 25% partial investment into United that will essentially make him a minority owner.
The expectation is that the 71-year-old will be granted full control of the club’s sporting operations, which he intends to overhaul.
Key to Sir Jim’s plans is the appointment of a top-class sporting director who will take charge of the Red Devils’ recruitment, transfer dealings and any other activities in the market.
Former AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig chief Paul Mitchell is thought to be the favourite to get the job, with John Murtough’s future at Old Trafford far from secure.
Other options being considered according to The Telegraph include Atalanta’s Congerton, Dougie Freedman of Crystal Palace, Paolo Maldini and Andrea Berta who is contracted to Atletico Madrid at the moment.
After a very uneventful playing career, Congerton quickly moved into coaching and had spells at Wrexham and Liverpool.
The 50-year-old then elected to join Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, where he worked as a youth coach.
Congerton’s eye for talent saw him promoted to chief scout of the Blues. Subsequent sporting director roles at Hamburg and Sunderland followed soon after.
While at Stamford Bridge, Congerton developed a close relationship with Brendan Rodgers. The pair reunited at Celtic in 2017, with the former becoming the Scottish side’s head of recruitment.
When Rodgers left Celtic Park for pastures anew at the King Power Stadium with Leicester in 2019, Congerton followed his close ally.
The Daily Record reveals that during his time at Celtic, Congerton was not very popular among the fanbase who criticised him for putting a stop to “box office arrivals” who would build on the good work done by Rodgers on the pitch.
It’s from Leicester that Congerton switched to the Serie A with Atalanta.
For the Italian giants, he masterminded deals for players such as Merih Demiral, Ademola Lookman and Rasmus Hojlund.
Congerton played a key role in Hojlund’s sensational transfer from Atalanta to United in the summer of 2023. The Dane has so far netted five goals, all of which have come in the Champions League.