By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Manchester United want to pair Jose Mourinho with a director of football in an overhaul of the club’s management structure, Football Insider sources understand.
In a dramatic shake-up of the club’s recruitment structure, United want to appoint a director to oversee transfers and the scouting network.
One target is Atletico Madrid sporting director Andreas Berta, the Italian who has been a key figure in the Spanish club continuing to punch above their weight in recent seasons.
United 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”.
Football Insider revealed last September that discussions had taken place among senior officials about 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.
Meanwhile, Preliminary talks have already taken place between United and Mourinho’s camp as the possibility grows that he will land the job of his dreams.
United’s wretched performances under Van Gaal, as well as a string of mediocre results that have seen them drift out of the title race, has persuaded club chiefs to seriously consider Mourinho.
The likelihood is that Van Gaal will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, one year before his contract expires.
As revealed by Football Insider on Friday morning, United are ready to offer Mourinho a contract that would make him the highest-paid manager in the world.
United are willing to hand Mourinho £16million-a-year, equivalent to £308,000-a-week, in a bid to install him as their new manager at the end of the season.
Despite strong reservations among the United old guard of directors, led by Sir Bobby Charlton, about Mourinho’s profile, capacity to court controversy and willingness to implement a style of play in the club’s traditions, there is a growing sense that the team could slip further behind City if they ignore the Portugese’s credentials.
It was announced on Monday that Manuel Pellegrini will step down in the summer and Guardiola will take the reins at Etihad Stadium after ending his three-year Bayern spell.
Sources close to the situation have told Football Insider Mourinho has made it clear that he wants his next managerial post to be in the Premier League, and preferably at Old Trafford.
The Portugese has continued to live in England, at his family home in central London, since being sacked by Chelsea in mid December.