After yet another stagnant summer, Manchester United’s transfer policy and structure is under the microscope – again.
Ed Woodward still hasn’t appointed a sporting director, or anything similar, and there is still a clear absence of long-term thinking.
United have once more laboured in getting deals over the line, but Sevilla – the side who knocked us out of the Europa League in July, despite boasting a far more modest budget – tend to have no such problems.
Their transfer operations are headed up by Monchi, who United made an offer to in March 2016, according to Spanish outlet AS.
Over four years on and United still haven’t filled that role, which is something Monchi spoke to the Telegraph about in a recent interview.
“This is my opinion – all clubs should have this position (sporting director),” Monchi said.
“Where 60-70 per cent of the budget is allocated to the first team, if you don’t have a specialist who deals with that, it is very difficult to understand.
“Manchester United are probably one of the top five in the world, but they do not have that specific position – for me, I can’t believe a club does not have this particular position. I do think it’s essential.”
Monchi goes on to outline his role – to marry an understanding of the market, information from scouts and what the club needs – to run an effective recruitment operation.
He outlines how 400-450 players are whittled down based on suitability and what the manager wants, categorising them before seeing if they are possible to sign.
United, meanwhile, are stuck with the same problems which have hamstrung the transfer policy since David Gill’s departure in 2013.
As well as that reported offer to Monchi in 2016, the BBC report which accompanied Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December 2018 stated that the new manager would have a ‘head of football’ to work with.
Almost two years later, there has been no movement on that score and United have made just one major signing this summer.
The contrast between the sleek operation Monchi outlines at Sevilla and United’s blundering pursuit of Jadon Sancho is incredible.
This summer has underlined once again the lack of expertise in the corridors of power at United when it comes to doing deals with footballers.
Appointing a sporting director wouldn’t solve all that overnight but it would be a step in the right direction.
That failure to land Monchi in 2016 is still being keenly felt now.
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