As Sir Jim Ratcliffe gears up for a significant transformation at Manchester United, he is reportedly seeking counsel from Sir Alex Ferguson, according to the Telegraph.
This development, reported by the Telegraph, suggests a potential advantage for Crystal Palace’s sporting director, Dougie Freedman, in securing a position at Old Trafford. Freedman, a known associate of Ferguson, is among the candidates being considered, although the Telegraph Sport has disclosed that he isn’t the sole contender for the role.
As per the report, Ratcliffe’s list for a new sporting director also includes notable figures like Lee Congerton from Atalanta, the former AC Milan duo Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, and Andrea Berta from Atletico Madrid.
Jean-Claude Blanc of Ineos Sport is also a candidate to succeed Richard Arnold as United’s chief executive. Ratcliffe’s impending acquisition of a 25% stake in Manchester United underpins these considerations.
The report suggests that Ratcliffe is counting on Ferguson’s wisdom and experience in reshaping United’s football operations. This could particularly influence the selection of a new director of football, as John Murtough’s role is said to be at risk.
Freedman, who has connections with Ferguson dating back to their time as neighbors in Cheshire and professional interactions when Freedman was managing Palace, is a strong contender.
Freedman’s acumen in securing deals, evidenced by his signings at Palace like Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, and the loan of Conor Gallagher, aligns with the kind of expertise United may seek.
The club’s decline post-Ferguson’s retirement is a matter of concern, and involving Ferguson in the revival process would likely be well-received by the fans.
Congerton’s background includes a tenure as head of recruitment at Atalanta and previous roles at Leicester City, Celtic, Sunderland, and West Bromwich Albion.
Maldini and Massara, recently let go by AC Milan, have been influential in the club’s operations, notably in the acquisition of England’s Fikayo Tomori.
Berta’s decade-long involvement with Atletico Madrid has seen the club achieve remarkable success, including La Liga titles, a Europa League title, and a Super Cup win.