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Sir Jim Ratcliffe expected to take guidance from Sir Alex Ferguson in choosing new director of football for Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to lean on Sir Alex Ferguson for guidance over several matters ahead of taking over the football operation of Manchester United, according to the Telegraph.

The British billionaire has acquired 25% of the Old Trafford club, and they have already announced the departure of CEO Richard Arnold.

More changes are on the way at board level, and Ratcliffe wants to appoint a new director of football.

The OGC Nice owner has some candidates in mind, including Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman.

The Eagles chief could receive a huge boost as he is a long-term ally of Ferguson, and the legendary Man United manager could recommend him to Ratcliffe.

Atalanta’s head of senior recruitment Lee Congerton, former AC Milan duo Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, and Atletico Madrid’s Sporting Director Andrea Berta are also under consideration for the job with John Murtough’s future under huge threat.

Freedman has helped Palace snap up Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi and Michael Olise and arranged the loan deal for Conor Gallagher from Chelsea. His track record could boost his chances of taking over from Murtough.

Man United do not have much to show for the around £1.4 billion they have spent players since Ferguson left in 2013, with just one FA Cup, two League Cups and a Europa League title to their name in a decade.

They need a sporting director capable of recruiting the right players, and Ferguson could be keen on convincing Ratcliffe to choose the former Palace manager.

Director of Football Operations David Harrison could also be shown the exit door once the INEOS founder takes over.

The future of manager Erik ten Hag is also not guaranteed either, following United’s disappointing start to the 2023-24 season.