Former Tottenham Hotspur head of youth scouting Paul Mitchell has emerged as a leading contender for a sporting director role at Manchester United, The Athletic reports.
The impending 25% stake acquisition by petrochemicals billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS in Man United is on the cusp of completion, with the deal expected to be officially ratified on Thursday.
The agreement includes a clause that grants Ratcliffe and INEOS control over the club’s sporting matters, relegating the Glazer family to a secondary role.
Improving and expanding Old Trafford will be a primary objective of the Ratcliffe investment, as well as revamping the club’s footballing operations.
The Glazers have pumped approximately £400 million into the Erik ten Hag administration, yielding a Carabao Cup success in the Dutchman’s debut campaign.
However, the Red Devils are languishing in 10th place in the Premier League table following an abysmal start to the 2023/24 season – also suffering defeat in their opening two Champions League fixtures.
The INEOS hierarchy believes Man United’s recruitment strategy could be improved, and Ratcliffe aims to make various appointments of his own starting with a new sporting director.
John Murtough has been head of that department since 2021, while ex-Man United midfielder Darren Fletcher has supported him in the role of football director.
However, INEOS aims to bring in a more established name for the position, and Mitchell, who has previously worked at RB Leipzig and Tottenham, is a leading contender.
Mitchell is widely regarded as a prominent talent scout and recruitment expert in Europe and maintains a strong rapport with senior figures at INEOS.
His previous experience at Monaco coincided with INEOS’s acquisition of fellow Ligue 1 side Nice. During that time, Monaco had ascended to the top of the league table after multiple successful transfer windows.
Mitchell left his role with Monaco to move back home to Manchester, sparking talks of potentially joining the Red Devils, having been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past.
While he is considered the priority target, former Liverpool duo Michael Edwards and Julian Ward are also under consideration.
The pair are highly regarded by INEOS, but it remains to be seen if they will be open to a Premier League return, particularly in a role at Liverpool’s biggest rivals.
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