Manchester United working to appoint Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox


Manchester United are working on a deal to appoint Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox as a key figure in the club’s new sporting hierarchy.

United are yet to approach Southampton but Wilcox, who is well-known and extremely highly regarded at Old Trafford, is aware of their interest.

The 52-year-old’s proposed role at United would report in to a sporting director, with Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth their top target for that position.

Wilcox resigned as Manchester City’s academy director in January 2023 ahead of his move to Southampton. City were keen to keep Wilcox and made an offer for him to stay, but he elected to end his nine-year stay with the Etihad Stadium club.

Phil Foden, Rico Lewis and Oscar Bobb, as well as Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, all developed in the City academy during Wilcox’s time as director, a role he began in 2017 having previously worked as Under-18s head coach.

During his playing career, Wilcox won the Premier League while at Blackburn Rovers, also featuring for Leeds United and Blackpool before retiring in 2006.

Appointing Wilcox would be another impressive acquisition for United if the move comes to fruition. They have already appointed Omar Berrada as their new chief executive, with the Spaniard to join from rivals Manchester City at the end of the season.

Ashworth, meanwhile, has informed Newcastle that he has been approached in relation to the sporting director position at Old Trafford and United are prepared to wait before bringing him to the club, rather than paying a large compensation fee. Other figures such as Wilcox could arrive at United before Ashworth.

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United’s changes in their football hierarchy come against the backdrop of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS agreeing a deal to purchase a 25 per cent stake in the club from the Glazer family.

Ratcliffe and INEOS will take over the football operations at United, with the firm’s CEO Jean-Claude Blanc and director of sport Sir David Brailsford joining the Premier League side’s board, alongside Berrada.

INEOS’ deal has been approved by the Premier League and the FA, but is still contingent upon the closure of the tender offer by the end of this week. The petrochemicals company, though, is driving the move for Wilcox and is looking to be proactive in its approach before the deal is completed.

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(Robin Jones/Getty Images)





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