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John Murtough steps down as Manchester United football director, set to depart this week

Manchester United football director John Murtough has stepped down from his position and will leave the Old Trafford club this week, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.

The 50-year-old will be replaced by Dan Ashworth once the former Newcastle United sporting director ends his gardening leave.

Murtough has been with Man United for ten years, but Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival as co-owner meant his future was always likely to be uncertain given the expected changes.

The Red Devils are also hoping to quickly finalise the arrival of Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox and name him as their technical director.

Murtough joined Man United in 2013 after working with Fulham and Everton, initially focusing on the academy and scouting before getting promoted to head of football development in 2016.

He became Man United’s first football director in 2021, taking overall charge of the men’s, women’s and academy operations and overseeing the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager in 2022.

Murtough was also heavily involved in squad building, but those responsibilities will now fall on Ashworth and Wilcox.

More changes are expected going forward, but Darren Fletcher remains technical director at present and the Red Devils want him to stay under an alternative title, which is yet to be finalised.

Major squad rebuilding is on the cards at the Theatre of Dreams and while Ten Hag could retain his job for the new campaign, he may be fired if Man United fail to impress.

Ashworth and Wilcox will be desperate to turn the Old Trafford giants into a force to be reckoned with again in the Premier League and Champions League.

However, the current squad cannot get the job done, and their first task is to recruit the right players capable of taking the club to the next level.

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