Manchester United Are Back in for a Director of Football

Manchester United director of football
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The appointment of a director of football is back on the agenda for Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, the Telegraph’s Mike McGrath reports.

Almost two years have passed since initial plans to appoint a head of football were put in place. However, Woodward eventually opted against an appointment, perhaps temporarily.

Once again, it is reported that Manchester United will be looking to fill the position.

Manchester United Are Back in for a Director of Football

The Candidates

Manchester United are looking to appoint a director of football for the first time in its history.

Andrea Berta, who is currently the sporting director at Atletico Madrid, is among the names who are suggested and could be tempted to take the prestigious role. Juventus’ Fabio Paratici and Antero Henrique, formerly of Paris Saint-Germain are named as highly-rated potential candidates.

Henrique is said to have played a key role in the signing of Bruno Fernandes.

Ed Woodward has yet to start the process of shortlisting candidates. His priority has been overseeing the completion of the 2019/20 season and dealing with the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the football club.

He’s added the search for a director of football onto his agenda for the summer.

Not Looking for Traditional Sporting Director

While Woodward is yet to begin listing candidates, he has outlined the criteria for the role.

Unfortunately for anyone expecting an appointment to be the start of drastic measures at Old Trafford, it will not be the case.

Manchester United are happy with the current transfer strategy – which has overseen the additions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Harry Maguire, and Odion Ighalo.

Whoever arrives at Old Trafford will join the current structure, instead of reshaping it.

It may even be the case that United enlist the job title as ‘technical director’, with less emphasis on the footballing side.

Working Alongside Solskjaer and Co

United have taken it upon themselves to have a unique transfer strategy.

Most Premier League clubs have elected to have a director of football, however, the Red Devils have a team of people involved, as opposed to having one man delegate the play style and recruitment for the club.

The new director of football will work with the current set-up.

This includes manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his team of coaches, scouts, data analysts, and Matt Judge, who is United’s chief transfer negotiator.

Manchester United face a challenge to find a good fit for that group.

Right Direction

12 months ago, the club were crying out for something different in the recruitment department. However, the last two windows have been a success. It’s hard to blame the club for wanting to enhance that work, over dismantling it.

It will only be known if they are right through the performance on the pitch. A title challenge will be expected sooner rather than later. A challenge itself will not be enough. Trophies will have to come along the way too.

It’s time Manchester United start matching their reputation and they will hope they are going the right way about it.


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