Manchester United reach interview stage after pressing ahead with new hire

Richard Arnold, Joel Glazer, Avram Glazer of Man Utd

Manchester United are recruiting a deputy football director to work under John Murtough ahead of a massive summer for the Old Trafford club, claims a reliable source.

According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, United have realised that Murtough’s football director work is too much for the 49-year-old. Murtough needs some help and the club are already getting a short-list of candidates together.

Previously the club’s head of football development, Murtough, was last year appointed football director at Old Trafford.

Former midfielder Darren Fletcher was also promoted to a technical director position.

The new man will help ease the burden on Murtough and will report into Murtough, who joined United in November 2013 after being brought in by David Moyes.

United are desperately trying to revamp their staffing behind the scenes and the new man will help them do exactly that.

“The recruitment process is already believed to be at interview stage,” according to the report.

One man who may well have been on United’s radar is Dan Ashworth.

Former FA man Ashworth has resigned from his director of football role at Brighton to take up a similar position at Newcastle.

Of course Murtough ultimately reports into new CEO Richard Arnold, who took over from Ed Woodward at the start of the month.

And Gary Neville says Arnold has to promote a shift in culture at the club.

Neville focuses on dressing room

Neville told Sky Sports: “All the managers have said the same, haven’t they? I suppose, in some ways, that the dressing room has not been great when they have got there, and they have wanted to get rid of players and get rid of staff.

“It has happened. We saw David Moyes do it. We saw Louis van Gaal do it, who brought all of his own staff in. And we saw Jose Mourinho do it. We saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do it. We’re now seeing Ralf Rangnick do it.

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“That continuity in that plan has not been there; there has been a sudden shift every single time.

“Manchester United have now got a new CEO. But he has only had his feet under the table for about three or four weeks. There is an element of obviously giving Richard Arnold time to be able to assess the situation – but it is very fast at Manchester United; there are a lot of things happening all the time.

“Sometimes it is a case of slowing down and standing back from it. And not getting involved in the weeds and the sort of micro-detail of what is going on.

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Culture shift needed, says Neville

“What is the plan? What is the plan for the club? Where are the club going? Where does it need to be in three years? And where does it need to be in five years?

“On the pitch and, importantly as well, off the pitch. How are the club going to represent themselves and do the right things? How are they going to make sure, basically, that when the electric goes down during half-time, that message goes out straight away that the food is free and not wait until the end of the game.

“They are really important things because it is about culture, how you think and how you behave. Straight away, your instinct has to be in the club.

“That is something, ultimately now, that now needs to change because Ed Woodward was there for eight, nine or ten years. Now Richard Arnold has taken over and they are completely different characters. I think it is fair that Richard should get an amount of time. Two or three years – to be able to build a club in his own identity.

“But I also think it is important that they appoint a sporting director and a new manager, obviously, in the summer which is going to happen. They are really important appointments because they will set the tone for how the club behaves in the next few years.”

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