Manchester United prepare 'announcement' in the next 48 hours

By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Manchester United will make an announcement in the coming days about a shake-up of their Academy, Ed Woodward has revealed.

The club have completed a root-and-branch review of their youth team set-up and a raft of changes are set to take place.

United are keen to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team to ensure a steady flow of youngsters into the senior ranks.

Jesse Lingard and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have been the most impressive of the Academy graduates who have broken into the first team under Louis van Gaal in the last two seasons.

But United chiefs have been concerned not only that many top youngsters are choosing to join rivals Manchester City ahead of them, but they are also slipping behind the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham.

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Although Woodward compared United’s track record favourably to City and Chelsea in terms of bringing young players into the first team,  an extensive review will lead to a change in personnel at the Academy.

“The academy continues to be the heart of the club, giving youth a chance is part of our DNA,” Woodward told investors in a conference call on Thursday.

“We took the departure of Brian McClair last summer as an opportunity to do a root-and-branch review of the academy. That is now compete and changes are under way. Announcements will follow in in coming days.”