Manchester United have started preliminary work in their search for a new director of football. This includes sounding out potential candidates and expertise for what will be a landmark appointment in the club’s history.
A difficult summer in the transfer window revealed differences in priorities between the club and manager Jose Mourinho. This has finally prompted a change in club hierarchy that had been considered for some time, and has been replicated by top European clubs with proven success.
‘The Special One’ loathed working with Sporting Directors in the past. But even he is resigned to the fact that his job description will be modified before long.
United now want to press ahead with plans that would finally instil a long-term identity in a traditionalist club that has ironically been badly lacking since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The appointment may well represent one of the biggest jobs in world football. There is a vast amount of restructuring necessary to pave a way for a person in the role to function effectively. United could also appoint high-profile support staff in addition to a main director.
Roma’s Monchi and Juventus’ Fabio Paratici are said to be highly coveted. Neither of them, however, will be difficult to extract from their current clubs. Monchi has previously done exemplary work with Sevilla, shaping and launching the careers of several club players.
Former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is also held in high regard for his work at Ajax.
Sources within the club hierarchy’s circles, however, believe that the club will conduct interviews with many candidates and be as rigorous in the selection as possible.
Novara’s Domenico Teti has also been contacted, according to the same sources. Little known outside Italy but highly respected, Teti’s successes involve bringing in Mauro Icardi to Sampdoria from Barcelona B.