Former Liverpool man in the running for key Manchester United role

Liverpool's former sporting director Julian Ward has reportedly emerged as a leading contender to take up the same role at rivals Manchester United.

The move to appoint a new figure in this role is part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos team's ambitious plan to revamp the club's recruitment strategy and bring about a new era at Old Trafford.

The Telegraph reports that Ineos has narrowed down the search for the director of football role to a select few candidates, including Ward.

Other names in consideration include Dan Ashworth of Newcastle, Dougie Freedman of Crystal Palace and Paul Mitchell, the former head of recruitment at Tottenham and Monaco.

According to the same report, Ineos aims to have the director of football in place within the next few weeks.

A cohesive vision

In stark contrast to Liverpool, Manchester United's recruitment and scouting operations have long been under scrutiny, and Ineos is contemplating a comprehensive overhaul of these departments.

Following the recent appointment of Omar Berrada as the club's new chief executive, the company is keen on establishing a cohesive vision between the director of football, the new CEO Berrada, and the manager, Erik ten Hag.

It is believed that Berrada, who is set to formally start his role in the summer, and the incoming director of football will play pivotal roles in determining the fate of the current manager, Erik ten Hag.

One-year spell

While Ward had been in situ at Liverpool for 11 years, he only filled the director of football role for 12 months, despite signing a three-year deal after the departure of Michael Edwards in 2022.

During that time, though, he was a busy man and was instrumental in the signings of Cody Gakpo from PSV, Luis Diaz from Porto, Darwin Nunez from Benfica and Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton.

He was also the man who was finally able to tie Mohamed Salah down to a long-term contract.

However, Ward left the post before the overhaul of the squad last summer, passing the baton over to Jorg Schmadtke.

If he is to take over the role at Manchester United, it remains to be seen how fans will take the news.

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