Manchester United have officially confirmed the appointment of John Murtough as the club’s new Football Director after an extensive search, while club legend Darren Fletcher also takes up a new role.
The Red Devils have been looking at bringing in a new figure to oversee recruitment and football operations for several years, with the likes of Sevilla transfer guru Monchi and former Lille sporting director Luis Campos linked with the role.
But United have opted to promote from within, with former head of football development Murtough – who was brought to United in 2013 by David Moyes – handed the reins.
United say Murtough will have ‘overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions’ and will ‘work day-to-day with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to align recruitment and other strategies.’
The appointment is not intended to dilute Solskjaer’s say in transfers, with the United manager ‘continuing his role in the recruitment process, supported by extensive scouting and data analytics functions that will continue to report to John.’
Fletcher, meanwhile, had been coaching at United but now has an official role as Technical Director at Old Trafford.
The former midfielder’s role is to ‘add technical input and direction into all football and performance areas’ and his focus will be on ‘a co-ordinated and long-term approach to player and squad development, helping maintain the integral link between the Academy and the first team.’
Speaking about the new roles, United’s Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward – who has led the search – told the club’s official website: ‘These are hugely important appointments that reinforce the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.
‘We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of Academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record.
‘John has been integral to our progress in all these areas and his deep understanding of development ensures the club’s traditions of bringing young players through from Academy to first team will continue. This new position is a natural evolution that harnesses his leadership qualities and his years of experience in the game.
‘Darren’s stellar achievements as a player and his own journey from Academy to Premier League and Champions League winner means he naturally commands respect and understands this vital part of the club’s DNA. In this new role, the first in our history, he will deliver technical advice across all aspects of the football department as well as contributing to the communication and delivery of our football philosophy across all areas of the club.
‘I am delighted that John and Darren have accepted these roles and I look forward to the contribution they will make, together with Ole and the rest of the staff, as we build toward future success.’