Man Utd news: Mike Phelan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer behind delay to boardroom appointment | Football | Sport


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his assistant Mike Phelan are partly behind the delay in the club’s plan to appoint a technical director, according to reports.

The Red Devils’ plans to restructure their hierarchy were made public over a year ago but still there has been no progress in making an appointment.

Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar are among the legion of former United players linked with the role.

Ex-centre-back Ferdinand – a six-time Premier League title-winner in his 12-season stint at Old Trafford – even held talks with executive vice-chairman Woodward about becoming the director of football over the summer.

But the BT Sport pundit’s conversations, like former team-mates Darren Fletcher and Quinton Fortune, amounted to nothing.

Instead, the club opted to continue working with the current structure as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made three signings – Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire – in his inaugural summer window.

Now, The Athletic claim that because Solskjaer and his assistant Phelan currently perform duties that would be overseen by the newly-appointed chief, there is no rush from within the club to settle on their chosen director.

It was suggested back in August that United’s search for a new man would become a priority again following the completion of their transfer activity.

But two months on, United are yet to single out one man and no timescale for an appointment has been announced.

BBC Sport say that the role will not involve any negotiating or signing of transfer targets, a responsibility which will remain within Woodward’s remit.

Ex-goalkeeper Van der Sar recently declared he would be interested in a return to the club where he spent six successful seasons, winning 10 trophies and making the PFA Premier League Team of the Year three times.

The Dutchman declared to Planet Futbol: “Besides my family, my wife and kids and everything I have two loves in my life.

“That’s Ajax, who gave me the opportunity to develop, they scouted me, they gave me the chance to shine in the world of football.

“And the last club of my career (Manchester United) also gave me a lot of attention, recognition and everything, developed at a later stage. And of course, I’d be interested in a position.”

But he would prefer to remain at Eredivisie giants Ajax, where he is currently installed as the chief executive officer.

“I need to learn a little more here [at Ajax], develop myself further and eventually let’s see what the future brings,” Van der Sar added.

“United is a fantastic club, there’s a great following all over the world. Everybody wants to play for them and eventually, work for them.”

The Red Devils return to action after the international break this Sunday at home to league leaders Liverpool (4.30pm).


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