Reports are circulating that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has set his sights on former Liverpool stalwart, Michael Edwards, for the role of sporting director at Old Trafford.
The pedigree of Edwards, originally from Tottenham, is well-known in football circuits. Starting his Liverpool journey as the head of performance analysis in 2011, he climbed the ranks to become the technical director. His departure from Anfield at the conclusion of the 2021/22 season marked the end of a tenure marked by significant signings like Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah.
Edwards’ association with Manchester United was rumored previously as the club contemplated introducing a similar role. Now, with Ratcliffe reportedly on the verge of acquiring a 25% ownership in Manchester United – a move seen by many as a precursor to full ownership – Edwards’ name resurfaces. Ratcliffe’s vision for the club includes orchestrating player transfers, and introducing a sporting director is a probable strategy. This puts the future of Manchester United’s current football director, John Murtough, into question.
The Athletic revealed Ratcliffe’s ambition: “Ratcliffe wants control of sporting decisions immediately and is proposing a new structure where INEOS representatives have seats on the board, thus granting definitive influence on such matters. But the exact nature of this arrangement still needs to be worked out.”
Potential candidates to be involved in the football decisions are under discussion. Paul Mitchell, formerly Monaco’s sporting director, has been named as a potential candidate, especially given his history with Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and RB Leipzig. Also, the successes of Michael Edwards and Julian Ward at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp make them attractive options, although it remains uncertain if they’re eyeing a swift return to the Premier League.
Lastly, an earlier interaction with Dan Ashworth, before he committed to Newcastle United, suggests that luring him now would require hefty compensation. Amid these speculations, it’s evident that Ratcliffe envisions a revamped management, favoring his trusted allies in pivotal roles.