Ed Woodward to remain in charge of Manchester United transfer policy

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Ed Woodward will continue to call the shots on the transfer policy at Manchester United, with the club not expected to appoint a sporting or technical director this summer.

The club have pursued a structural shake-up centred on finding someone who will oversee signings, but executive vice-chairman Woodward has yet to identify a preferred candidate and is pressing ahead with transfers himself.

Talks have been held with Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra over offering assistance and opinions on players, but talk has shifted from suggestions of a committee-style approach involving multiple former players.

United have been prepared to allow any chosen candidate to be based in the club’s Mayfair offices in London.

The £18million deal to take Daniel James to Old Trafford from Swansea was negotiated by Matt Judge, United’s head of corporate affairs, with Woodward signing off on terms. The duo have overseen recruitment for the past few windows.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant Mike Phelan take an active part in deciding transfer targets, with chief scouts Jim Lawlor and Mick Court also contributing.

Lawlor and Court, who use a team of analysts, served Sir Alex Ferguson’s recruitment team. John Murtagh, youth development chief, and Marcel Bout, head of global scouting, are also influential.

Either Solskjaer and Phelan or the club, led by Woodward, can veto any signing.

United feel the system works and while Woodward has spoken to several people about becoming sporting or technical director, discussions are yet to progress to a meaningful stage.

Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are prime transfer targets this summer, fitting the request from Solskjaer and Phelan for young British players, but United are currently unwilling to meet the defenders’ valuations.

A price of £90m has been mentioned for Maguire, who Phelan worked with at Hull. Palace want £60m for Wan-Bissaka.

Ferdinand remains open to working for the club in some capacity. He said on Tuesday night: ‘It all depends on the shape of the job. I don’t think it’s all been outlined at United in terms of — that’s the job and this is the description.

‘There’s a lot to talk about within that. To be fair to United, in that kind of role, the responsibility that comes with that, you can’t lie and say that’s not a turn on.

‘You are helping to shape the fortunes of a club of that stature. That’s a huge job.’

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