Sir Jim Ratcliffe has five-man shortlist for new Manchester United sporting director
There are some big names.
Ratcliffe’s £1.3bn investment in the club is expected to be announced this month.
The British billionaire is expected to take control of ‘football operations’ at Old Trafford, though the Glazers will retain full control of the club itself.
Ratcliffe will pump in £245m of his own money to improve United’s infrastructure but his priority is resolving long-term issues with United’s recruitment.
The club have squandered almost £1.3bn since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and they haven’t won a league title since the Scot’s departure.
Richard Arnold, the club’s CEO, will step down before the end of the year as Ratcliffe prepares to appoint a new head of the club.
But, perhaps of greater importance, is a sporting director.
John Murtough, the club’s head of football, is expected to depart as Ratcliffe appoints a specialist to oversee transfers and the 71-year-old is currently looking at five options for the role.
Paolo Maldini, the AC Milan legend, is one option while Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman is a leading contender.
Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta, who has overseen the club’s transfer policy for five years, is under consideration while Ricky Massara is on the shortlist.
Atalanta’s Lee Congerton is a notable inclusion, as the transfer specialist brought Ramus Hojlund to the club before his £72m move to Manchester United last summer.
Despite reports, Paul Mitchell – the former Tottenham and Southampton director – is not thought to be in the running.
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