Man Utd chief Ed Woodward makes decision with Sir Alex Ferguson behind thinking

Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is resisting the idea to appoint a director of football because he wants the club to have a similar model to how they operated under Sir Alex Ferguson, it has been claimed. The Red Devils have spoken to Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher about the role – but are yet to appoint anyone.

Manchester United started their search for a director of football when Jose Mourinho was at the club.

But, since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over, their recruitment has taken a turn for the better.

United have seen all four of their signings under the Norwegian enjoy positive starts to their Old Trafford careers, with Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all impressing.

And The Athletic say United have cooled their interest in appointing a director of football – with Ferguson behind their thinking.

When the Scot ruled the roost he would always have the final say on who came in the door – and who went out of it.

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And United don’t want to move too far away from that structure, with the club firmly behind Solskjaer and happy with the work he’s done so far.

Any appointment, were it to happen, would have to fit into United’s current system.

Solskjaer has power at the club while his assistants, scouts and data analysts will also help the Red Devils earmark potential transfer targets going forward.

And United, it seems, are ready to back the Norwegian over the coming months as they eye the Premier League title next season.

Woodward has already vowed to do just that, saying earlier in the season: “The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff.

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“Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.

“Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window.

“As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.

“There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200m spent since Ole became manager.

“Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.”

United have a list of 14 targets going into the summer.

Matthijs de Ligt and Kalidou Koulibaly are of interest in defence, even though they’re not priorities for the club.

In midfield, United are tracking Declan Rice, Sean Longstaff, James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Jude Bellingham and Donny van de Beek.

And Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Timo Werner, Moussa Dembele, Odion Ighalo and Harry Kane are being eyed to beef up their attack. 

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