Manchester United are ready to overhaul their approach to recruitment by hiring a Director of Football in reaction to their disappointing transfer window, according to reports.
Although the Red Devils made three signings – midfielder Fred, young full-back Diogo Dalot and backup goalkeeper Lee Grant – Jose Mourinho was left frustrated by the failure to land a new centre-back. He is anticipating a difficult season as a result, and criticised the club’s board for failing to deliver on plans he had put in place ‘for many months’.
And now The Guardian report that United will try to modernise their approach to recruitment by bringing in a Director of Football to bridge the gap between manager and board.
Ed Woodward will still have a key role following the appointment, while Mourinho – and any successor – will be involved in the process.
But club bosses hope a change in structure will relinquish the focus on the manager and provide a blueprint and style for signing players irrespective of who is in the dugout.
Mourinho is believed to have clashed with United’s hierarchy over the profile of transfer targets, with the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin considered too old by the board.
Jose Mourinho on Man Utd’s failed centre-back hunt:
‘I think it will be a difficult season for everybody, not just for us. For us it will be a difficult season because I had my plans, and I had my plans for many months. But I find myself in the beginning of the Premier League, with the market closed, I find myself in a situation that I thought I was not going to be in, but I think it’s the last time I speak about it.’
He had also been willing to offload Anthony Martial and replace him with the 30-year-old Willian, but United’s decision-makers want a greater focus on development rather than short-term fixes.
Mourinho intimidated the way United operated – and the amount of power he wielded – would be shifting following the club’s Friday night win over Leicester City.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he explained: ‘I think football is changing, and probably football managers should be called now more head coaches.
‘We have big and multi-functional coaching staff, and I think we are more the head coach than the manager. That is the way I think football is going.’