Manchester United are set to appoint the first director of football in their 140-year history, as soon as the current restructure of the club and expansion of facilities are complete.
The move will allow United a continuity of football style and ethos as well as a more streamlined transfer policy. It is understood this is also recognition by the hierarchy of the need to modernise in an era when managers are often in situ only for the short term. This can lead to disjointed recruitment and a disconnect between the manager and the executive.
United suffered precisely this in the transfer window that closed on Thursday. José Mourinho believed he required a frontline centre-back to strengthen his squad and while the board led by Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, was supportive it was not prepared to sanction what was viewed as the exorbitant valuations demanded for the manager’s particular targets.
Woodward is still expected to have a key role in recruitment following the appointment of a director of football, with Mourinho and his successors still substantially involved in player recruitment.