Manchester United are pushing ahead with their plans to appoint a Director of Football and have narrowed down their hunt just as top target Luis Campos has become available.
After several costly missteps in the transfer market in recent years, United’s hierarchy have been keen to install an established, proven head of recruitment to overhaul their approach.
Former boss Jose Mourinho had long called for a change in the structure of the club, with the majority of Premier League and European sides having a Director of Football – or equivalent role – to oversee recruitment.
Now United finally appear to be close to appointing someone for the role, with The Daily Record revealing the club have drawn up a final five-man shortlist of experienced names.
Chief among them is Campos, who has unearthed countless elite talents during his career – most notably in recent years with Monaco and Lille – and has made huge profits on the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Pepe.
Crucially, the Portuguese talent-spotter – a close friend of Mourinho, having worked with him at Real Madrid – is now free to move to the Premier League, having officially left his role with Lille on Friday.
According to Record Sport, he is attracted to the idea of testing himself in English football and is intrigued by the prospect of having the lure of the world’s biggest league behind him when trying to attract players.
The Dutchman has played a huge role in Ajax’s recent success, both domestically and in Europe having reached the Champions League semi-final two seasons ago, and reports in the Netherlands suggest he is ready to leave Amsterdam for a new challenge elsewhere.
Campos has previously been very open about the prospect of moving to Old Trafford, telling Sky Sports last year: ‘I know very well the situation of Manchester United and other clubs – but, in my opinion, everybody needs a sporting director because the coach needs time to prepare for the next match and the super ego of the players too, so he needs people with sensibility. If a coach is alone it’s more difficult now.
‘A sporting director is very, very important. Of course I believe I could help Manchester United, but I respect the politics of the club. Itʼs very prestigious, very, very prestigious, but in modern football you need a sporting director. If you have a sporting director you have this sensibility.
‘Before, the coach did everything, but now the information is arriving very fast. Now the world is very different. You need to know players in every part of the world. It’s important the club has one project and with a sporting director everyone understands where they go.
‘You need one person with the sensibility for the sporting and economic situation. In modern football you need both to work together. If they don’t work together you have a disaster.’