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Man United set to appoint Southampton’s Jason Wilcox as part of revamped recruitment team

Man United set to appoint Southampton's Jason Wilcox as part of recruitment revamp

Manchester United are in talks to lure Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox to Old Trafford with the prospect of handing him a significant role within the club’s revised sporting structure.

The Athletic reports that the Red Devils are yet to make a formal approach to the Championship club, but the former Manchester City academy director is aware of United’s interest.

If Wilcox takes the United job, he would be working under a sporting director with the Red Devils also locked in negotiations to appoint Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth in that role.

Wilcox is a familiar figure in Manchester, having worked for City until January 2023. He raised eyebrows after ditching the Etihad Stadium to join Southampton.

The 52-year-old worked at City for nine years and was instrumental in the development of several eye-catching talents such as Phil Foden, who has won five Premier League titles and a Champions League, and Cole Palmer, who has been a key figure at Chelsea since joining last summer.

Landing Wilcox would be another step in the right direction for United, who have been heavily criticised for their recruitment since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

The former Premier League winner with Blackburn Rovers would also reunite with Omar Berrada, who has already agreed to leave City and join United as the club’s new chief executive at the end of the season.

If United are successful in luring Wilcox to the Theatre of Dreams, he could kick off his tenure before Ashworth, who is the subject of a transfer battle between United and Newcastle.

The English talent spotter is keen on the switch, but the Magpies aren’t prepared to grant his wishes without a fight.

A compensation fee of around £10 million has been mooted, but United are wary of forking out such a significant amount and are willing to play the long game to secure Ashworth’s signature.

The restructuring of the recruitment team is in line with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s vision for United and comes after the INEOS chairman secured the Premier League’s approval to purchase a 25% stake in the club.

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