According to Independent, Manchester United have narrowed their search for a new sporting director, with the list honed so that any head of recruitment is set to feed into a technical role overseeing all football operations.
While the club had previously shown interest in Paul Mitchell and ex-Liverpool official Julian Ward, their attention has shifted toward other prospects. Currently, Bayern Munich’s Christoph Freund and Tiago Pinto, who is departing his role at Roma, are receiving more serious consideration, as per the report.
There are other notable figures in the mix, such as Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United and Liverpool’s former key figure, Michael Edwards. However, these two are viewed as less likely options, Miguel Delaney claims.
Ashworth would reportedly require a significantly more attractive offer to be drawn away, and Edwards is exploring different career paths beyond traditional club roles following a successful tenure at Liverpool, as reported by Independent. Dougie Freedman of Crystal Palace has also reportedly been under consideration by INEOS hierarchy.
The report further states that the appointment of the new sporting director is a key decision for the incoming chief executive, Omar Berrada, who will have a major say in football-related appointments. With Ineos’ confirmed decision on the chief executive position, they are now prioritizing the selection of a sporting director.
Ineos, a minority stakeholder in the club, is keen on overhauling the club’s structure, which has seen some stagnation in recent years. Sir Dave Brailsford, known for his achievements in cycling, is playing a significant role in this restructuring process.
According to the report, initially, there was a thought to split the responsibilities between two roles under the chief executive. However, the current view is that a head of recruitment should work closely under the sporting director, creating a more streamlined hierarchy within the club’s football operations.