By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Nicky Butt is set to be appointed the new head of the Manchester United academy, Football Insider sources understand.
The former midfielder will be promoted from head of coaching in the youth team set-up as he is given overall responsibility for reviving the club’s struggling youth system.
United chiefs have completed a root and branch review of their academy amid fears it has slipped behind rivals Manchester City as well as the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea.
Butt, a member of United’s famed Class of ’92, is set to take the job that Brian McClair vacated last year and oversee a revamp that was kickstarted last Friday with the departure of youth coach Paul McGuinness.
Youth player recruitment chief Derek Langley is also set to leave the club. Football Insider revealed on Friday night that another Class of ’92 graduate Chris Casper is in advanced talks to replace him.
Butt’s task will be to try to restore United’s reputation for nurturing outstanding talent and aim to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team to ensure a steady flow of youngsters into the senior ranks.
The former England international, who spent 12 years as a player at United before joining Newcastle, returned to his hometown club in 2012 and has worked in various coaching roles with the junior teams.
His appointment falls in line with the policy at Old Trafford of trying to maintain a link to the club’s roots and traditions.