Man Utd director of football timeline as Sir Jim Ratcliffe plans for 'purge' ahead of summer

Man Utd have already secured Omar Berrada as the new CEO and other major hires are expected to follow.
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Manchester United remain on the lookout for a new director of football and recent reports suggest Sir Jim Ratcliffe is hoping for an appointment 'within the next few weeks'.

Ratcliffe is planning to overhaul United's recruitment operations once his stake in the club is fully ratified by the Premier League. The INEOS chief will hold a minority share but is expected to control the footballing side of things, having gained experience as owner of French side OGC Nice.

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His director of sport at INEOS, Sir Dave Brailsford, has been carrying out an audit of the club since Ratcliffe's investment was announced on Christmas Eve and is expected to recommend several new hires.

Richard Arnold left his role as chief executive last year and United poached Omar Berrada from Manchester City to fill the role earlier this month. It is widely expected that a sporting director will follow, with The Telegraph reporting that a new arrival is expected soon.

John Murtough is currently in the position but will either see his responsibilities changed or leave the club. Newcastle United's Dan Ashworth remains the favoured candidate of INEOS, having overseen a revolutionary change at St James' Park since taking charge of their transfer business in February 2022.

Former Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward and current Crystal Palace transfer chief Dougie Freedman have also been regularly linked, while Paul Mitchell is an acquaintance of Ratcliffe and Brailsford. Some reports have suggested there could be more than one appointment with responsibilities split.

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Any new arrival will need to work in tandem with Berrada, who has been placed on gardening leave by City and cannot work in an official sense until the end of summer. The pair will ultimately have the final say on Erik ten Hag's future, which is under increasing pressure amid a woeful season on the pitch.

Ratcliffe is planning for major investment into the playing squad in the summer, following a decade of poor recruitment since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013. Ten Hag has spent more than £400m since arriving at Old Trafford but a lack of clear strategy has produced inconsistent results.

A number of first-team players are expected to leave in the summer, with the contracts of Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans all expiring. There are also concerns about the longevity of Casemiro, who will be 32 in February and still has two-and-a-half-years left on his contract.

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