Manchester United decide on top head of recruitment target - with approach expected soon

Jim Ratcliffe has accelerated plans to bring in top strategic personnel since confirming his partial takeover at Old Trafford

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 05 March 2024 07:51 GMT
Related: Ratcliffe and I have great ambition for United - Ten Hag

Manchester United have identified Dougie Freedman as the top target for head of recruitment, with Crystal Palace braced for an official approach this week.

The former striker has developed a considerable reputation among football executives for his work as sporting director at Selhurst Park, and Ineos believe he is an ideal candidate for the structure they are building.

Freedman's broader experience may also aid the current situation, as United want this position to be filled and in work quickly due to the fact that both of the position's superiors - prospective technical director Dan Ashworth and chief executive Omar Berrada - have been on gardening leave.

That might be possible with Freedman as Palace's stance has generally been they don't stand in people's way if they want to further their career but they will offer a new deal and allow the individual to make up their own mind.

United do naturally have alternative options for the position, but Freedman has stood out for meeting a number of requirements. He has been credited as a key figure in how Palace have maximised the considerable football catchment area of south London, helping to build a squad that has some of the most promising young talent in the Premier League.

During his playing days, Freedman represented Scotland twice, scoring once, with his club career spanning the likes of Wolves and Nottingham Forest - along with two spells at Palace totalling a decade. He spent five years as a manager with Palace, Bolton and Forest, before stepping up to the sporting director role with the Eagles in 2017.

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