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12th Aug 2018

Manchester United intend to introduce their first ever director of football

The club plans to streamline its transfer policy

Darragh Murphy

Manchester United hope to appoint a director of football once the club completes its current restructure.

United are set to follow the modern trend of adding a buffer between manager and board amidst criticism of the club’s recent transfer dealings.

The Guardian report that the Red Devils plan to revamp their recruitment policy and while Jose Mourinho – as well as his future successors – and current executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will continue to be involved heavily in identifying and signing targets, the new director of football will be tasked with streamlining the process.

United have never had a director of football before but it’s a role that has worked quite well for arch-rivals Manchester City, who appointed Txiki Begiristain in 2012 to much acclaim.

One of the primary reasons for the current popularity of sporting directors and directors of football is the fact that, nowadays, managers seldom last longer than a couple of years in any job. To prevent scenarios in which its left to a manager to select a playing staff, only for them to then leave their role a few months later, a middleman between the dugout and the hierarchy is perceived to be a more suitable figure in the long term.

It’s not known how Mourinho will react to the appointment, should he still be United boss at the time, but the Portuguese may already be expecting the change as he hinted at being no more than a head coach after Friday’s Premier League victory over Leicester.

“I had my plans for many months and I find myself with the market closed in a situation I did not think I would be in,” Mourinho said. “I think football is changing and managers should be called head coaches.”

Mourinho made no secret of his disappointment after missing out on several summer targets, with United failing to bring in a centre-half before Thursday’s deadline despite the long list of targets which included Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng, Yerry Mina, Diego Godin and Kurt Zouma.