Manchester United are set to appoint a new director of football in the next couple of weeks, according to a reliable reporter.
The Telegraph’s James Ducker claims that “ Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos team hope to appoint a new director of football at Manchester United within the next few weeks ahead of an anticipated purge of the club’s existing recruitment operation.”
Ducker also says that the list of potential candidates has already been “whittled down… to a couple of names.”
Whilst the reporter does not say who the two remaining candidates are, he lists those who were originally considered.
These are “Dan Ashworth, Newcastle’s director of football, Julian Ward, the former Liverpool sporting director, Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman and Paul Mitchell, formerly head of recruitment at Tottenham”, as well as “Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta, Cristiano Giuntoli from Juventus, Lee Congerton at Atalanta and Ricky Masara and Paolo Maldini, who left AC Milan last year”.
It can be inferred that the two names will be among those listed above.
Ducker also says that incoming CEO, Omar Berrada, was appointed first so that he have “valuable input” into the decision on who should be director of football, “given [INEOS’] strong belief that the two men and the manager must ‘share a vision’ and work as a ‘coherent whole’.”
Once the DoF is appointed, he and Berrada will given hiring and firing responsibility in regard to the manager.
“Sources have indicated that Berrada – who is to formally start in the summer – and the incoming director of football will ultimately be the ones to determine the fate of United’s existing manager, Erik ten Hag, whose future remains shrouded in uncertainty,” Ducker says.
“It remains to be seen whether Ineos also look to bring in a performance director or make another senior appointment in recruitment.”
The reporter goes on to claim that current football director, John Murtough, will definitely see “his roles and responsibilities … downgraded in the shake-up unless he was to leave the club altogether.”
Furthermore, recruitment and scouting operations could be completely overhauled, with an insider saying “I don’t think there are any sacred cows in this.”
However, the appointment of the director of football is clearly seen as the next step, and there is a sense of urgency about it. Ducker cites one source as saying “It needs to happen quickly … It’s so important for the project that we can’t hang about.”