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Manchester United's ‘extensive’ sporting director search counts Monchi and Fabio Paratici among most-desired targets

The Old Trafford club want to strengthen their football operations

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 14 August 2018 07:31 BST
Premier League weekend round-up

Manchester United have started sounding out potential candidates in their search for a new director of football, in what is set to be a rigorous hunt for one of the most important appointments in the club’s history.

A difficult summer in the transfer window, that saw a lot of controversy over differences in priorities between the club and manager Jose Mourinho, has finally prompted a move that had been considered for some time.

The appointment may well represent one of the biggest jobs in world football, such is the amount of restructuring necessary in the role, and it is currently possible the club appoints high-profile support staff as well as a main director.

Roma’s Monchi and Juventus’ Fabio Paratici are currently the most desired options, but both seen as hugely difficult to extract from their current clubs, especially given Monchi has only recently moved after so many years of success at Sevilla.

Former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is also viewed favourably due to his work at Ajax, but those close to the Old Trafford hierarchy say that the club are set to conduct an extensive amount of interviews, in what is set to be one of the most sought-after jobs in the game.

Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward

As an illustration of how deep the search is set to be, it is understood that the very early stages of the process have already seen Novara’s Domenico Teti contacted. Little known outside Italy but highly respected, Teti’s successes involve bringing in Mauro Icardi to Sampdoria from Barcelona B.

Current manager Mourinho has previously been averse to the idea of working under a director of football, but even he showed an acknowledgement that his job is changing on Friday night, and 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 one since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

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