Man Utd chief tipped for axe 'expects' new Old Trafford role under Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Source: Express

Manchester United football director John Murtough has been widely expected to leave the club as part of changes under Sir Jim Ratcliffe's impending rule. However, he reportedly expects to stick around at Old Trafford, pouring doubt over Sir Jim's plans to revamp United's operations with a new director of football.

Sir Jim's PS1.4billion deal for a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils will be announced as early as this week.

The 71-year-old billionaire is expected to inherit total sporting control from the Glazer family, which should include bringing trusted figures from INEOS into Old Trafford.

United have already confirmed the departure of chief executive Richard Arnold, with former Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain CEO Jean-Claude Blanc set to replace him.

Sir Jim's reported search for a new director of football has also raised questions about Murtough's future.

On Monday, the Manchester Evening News claimed United were planning to replace Murtough once Sir Jim enters power.

However, a fresh report has suggested that his exit may not be as imminent as initially thought.

According to the Telegraph, Murtough expects to have a role in the early transition under Sir Jim despite uncertainty over his long-term status.

He is said to be gearing up to work with INEOS in the early steps of their United involvement and possibly beyond if the relationship works for both parties.

Sir Jim has options for a new director of football. Last week, the Telegraph reported that Dougie Freedman, Paul Mitchell, Lee Congerton, Andrea Berta and the duo of Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara were under consideration.

It's parallel with concerns over United's poor recruitment since Sir Alex Ferguson's 2013 retirement, but Murtough could retain a job at the club even if he's replaced in his current role.

He is currently a significant figure at Old Trafford, working closely with Erik ten Hag to shape the men's first team as well as the women's and academy sides.

The report adds that there has been little indication that Murtough is set to leave imminently. Arnold's relationship with Joel Glazer is claimed to have soured in the weeks leading up to his departure, but the same can't be said for the 52-year-old.

The Telegraph go as far as to claim that Murtough hopes to recruit more figures of his own at United amid ongoing mass changes to the club's scouting network.

Murmurs claiming his office had already been cleared out have also reportedly been met with bemusement at Carrington. The United chief is due back from a short holiday on Wednesday as players return from international duty.