Manchester United have overpaid and underperformed over the last five years because of their failure to appoint a director of football. 

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively amid reports that United are finally exploring the possibility of creating the role.

Juventus director Fabio Paratici has been linked by Tuttosport, while SportBILD reports that Eintracht Frankfurt’s Fredi Bobic is also on the shortlist.

United have spent £699million on transfers over the last five seasons but have won just two trophies – the Europa League and the League Cup in 2016-17 – in that time.

Maguire explained that United have fallen behind their rivals in not appointing a director of football which has led to knock-on effects in terms of finances.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “They’ve got one [director of football] at Manchester City, and that’s worked really well. They’ve got one at Everton and Liverpool. But there hasn’t been one at Manchester United.

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“And there’s a case for saying that, given that United have spent more money on transfers and wages together over the course of the last five years, they have actually underdelivered.

“Part of that reason is that they’ve been through Van Gaal, Mourinho, Solskjaer and the manager always has a lot more influence when it comes to recruitment.

“That means that when you change the manager, you’ve got to have more of a change in terms of playing staff as well. It can be a very expensive operation as a result.”

United are enjoying a solid season in 2020-21 and are 2nd in the league after beating Manchester City 2-0 on Sunday.

But the main prize, the Premier League, has evaded them since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

In other news, a top pundit has urged West Ham to pull out of the race to hire the director of football who is being pursued by Manchester United.