Crystal Palace owner reacts to reports linking his sporting director with Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to bring Dougie Freedman to Old Trafford.

Crystal Palace owner reacts to reports linking his sporting director with Manchester United
Brentford v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
Dougie Freedman has been Palace’s sporting director since 2017 (Photo: Getty)

Crystal Palace’s co-owner and chairman has rubbished the reports linking his sporting director Dougie Freedman with Manchester United.

There are set to be big changes behind the scenes at Old Trafford, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to buy 25% stake in the club close to completion.

Long-serving chief executive Richard Arnold is to step down with Jean-Claude Blanc, a leading figure at Ineos Sport, in the frame to be appointed.

The British billionaire is also on the hunt for a new sporting director, with various names linked with the role, including former Tottenham man Paul Mitchell, and ex-Liverpool duo Michael Edwards and Julian Ward.

But Freedman has also been in the rumour mill, having quietly impressed with Palace, signing some of the Premier League’s best young talents like Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise.

‘The fact he’s being linked with clubs like that show he’s doing the right thing,’ Eagles co-owner and chairman Steve Parish said on The Rest is Football podcast when asked about the reports.

‘You would have to get into the minds of those people [United decision makers] wouldn’t you? I certainly don’t think there’s been any conversations. It’s flattering for the club.

Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
Palace chairman Steve Parish has helped keep Palacein the Premier League for over a decade (Photo: Getty)

‘You guys live in the world where 50% of the stories in the media are true. 50% are not. We just don’t know which ones yet.

‘[He’s been] really important. He’s a brilliant guy. He was the second manager I had at the club. He was instrumental in us getting promoted.

‘He’s been instrumental, he saved the club [as a player] when we were about to get relegated from the Championship with a last-minute goal at Stockport. He got us promoted while playing for Wolves.

‘He’s got a real affinity to the club and works really hard. We have signed some really good players and most importantly – the transfer window which is probably the hardest part of the job – it’s fun being involved in it with him.’

Freedman played for the Eagles for 10 years over two spells, before becoming their manager in 2011 and kicking-off their return to the Premier League.

After unsuccessful spells in charge of Bolton and Nottingham Forest, he returned to Selhurst Park again in 2017 as sporting director.

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