Manchester United transfer overhaul: Club weigh up director of football appointment
EXCLUSIVE | By Editor
Manchester United are weighing up appointing a director of football in a major overhaul of the club’s recruitment structure, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League big hitters have been widely criticised for failing to secure a number of high profile deals in recent summers, with Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez claiming the Ed Woodward-led team “lack experience”.
United were immediately dismissive of Perez’s as the discord between the two clubs escalated following the collapse of the David de Gea deal.
But sources have told Football Insider that discussions have taken place among senior officials about a shake-up of the recruitment structure.
One option that has been discussed is appointing a technical director – the term director of football is considered to have negative connotations in British football – in the mould of Manchester City’s Txiki Begiristain.
This person would be charged with overseeing the club’s recruitment and work with executive vice-chairman Woodward in negotiating transfers and contracts as well as liaising with the scouting network.
There is an acceptance among United senior officials that Woodward might have benefited from some experienced assistance as his third consecutive summer in charge of transfers produced mixed results.
Britain’s highest revenue generators signed six news players, including the headline capture of Anthony Martial for £43million rising to £58million on deadline day, but missed out on a number of high profile targets including Gareth Bale, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Thomas Muller and Pedro.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez spoke on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, painting a picture of United as a calamitous club unable to push through a transfer after De Gea’s last-minute transfer to the Bernabeu collapsed when the paperwork was not submitted before the deadline.
Perez said: “I think what they lack is experience,’ he said. ‘It happened before with [Fabio] Coentrao, exactly the same. And it happened with Ander Herrera and Athletic Bilbao. They have a new team and they lack experience.
“We have missed out on players before, Franck Ribery and Patrick Vieira for example, but what is surprising is that someone wants to do a deal and only starts the process 12 hours before.
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“It’s the inexperience of the new people in charge. We have worked with them [United] before, with Peter Kenyon and David Gil and with Sir Alex Ferguson.
“We still have a good relationship with Manchester United but this is the exactly the same as what happened before with Coentrao and Herrera and we thought they would have learned from what happened in the past.”
The United transfer criticism was immediately dismissed by the Premier League club, who criticised Real’s “calamitous” dealings.