Manchester United might have the upper hand in the pursuit of one of the world’s best players after appointing a new director of football negotiations, according to a report.
The Red Devils’ previous head transfer negotiator, Matt Judge, resigned in April last year. He began to consider his position at Old Trafford amid big changes that were made being made at the club. At the time, the Daily Mail described his exit as being ‘amicable’.
Judge’s departure meant Man Utd director of football John Murtough headed up the club’s recruitment drive last summer. He travelled to Barcelona to try and reach an agreement with priority Ten Hag target Frenkie de Jong. Despite the two clubs agreeing a deal, the transfer failed to go through as De Jong refused to leave Barca.
In March, The Athletic revealed that Man Utd had decided to appoint Matt Hargreaves as Judge’s replacement.
The Adidas executive, who has a legal background and supports Man Utd, is working a notice period before joining the Premier League giants. He will leave his role as Adidas marketing director before the summer transfer window gets underway.
And the Mail provide an exciting update on Hargreaves’ forthcoming arrival. They reveal that the new chief could be the ‘secret weapon’ in Man Utd’s hunt to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund.
Hargreaves already has a good relationship with Bellingham after having looked after him during his partnership with Adidas.
And this existing relationship might help Man Utd unlock a deal with both Dortmund and the England star.
Liverpool might have to watch Bellingham go to Man Utd
Liverpool have been heavily linked with Bellingham over the past two years, but last month they decided he would be too expensive to sign.
Jurgen Klopp’s side could now regret that decision as Man Utd are one of the few clubs capable of capturing the England star from Dortmund. And if an Old Trafford switch reaches completion, then Klopp will have to watch his biggest transfer target shine for one of Liverpool’s main rivals.
Manchester City and Real Madrid are thought to be at the front of the queue for Bellingham now Liverpool have dropped out of the race. But in Hargreaves, Man Utd may be given the boost they needed to sign him first.
It would be incredible if Man Utd created a midfield duo of Casemiro and Bellingham. Casemiro is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, as he is able to read the game exceptionally well and break up opposition attacks before they get dangerous. Bellingham, meanwhile, is an all-action midfielder who can get involved in attacks and chip in with goals – this season he has found the back of the net 11 times for Dortmund.
Ten Hag being able to select Casemiro and Bellingham in midfield would give Man Utd a major boost as they aim to catch up with City and Arsenal next term.
It is now up to Hargreaves and Murtough to try and get Bellingham’s signing over the line. It will certainly not be easy, but Hargreaves could prove to be the final piece of the puzzle.