Liverpool face fight as Man United attempt to hijack sporting director deal

Manchester United are attempting to hijack Liverpool’s deal for Southampton sporting director Jason Wilcox, according to reports. The Reds' plan isn't clear, however.

The Evening Standard reports that Manchester United are attempting to sign Jason Wilcox out from under the noses of Liverpool. Wilcox, the current sporting director at Southampton, has only been in his current job for a year.

But Wilcox wants to move. He's apparently agreed terms with Liverpool, though Southampton don't wish to lose him - something that could see them place him on gardening leave.

United, who are searching for a new sporting director, hope to hijack that deal and grab Wilcox for themselves. They remain in negotiations with Newcastle United over Dean Ashworth, too.

Liverpool want Jason Wilcox

This is a confusing one, given Liverpool have definitely appointed Richard Hughes as their new sporting director. But then, it's important to remember that Wilcox has only actually been a sporting director for under 12 months.

Instead, we should probably look to his previous role as academy technical director at Manchester City for the intentions here. Liverpool likely aim to hire him for a similar role, rather than see him maintain his current one.

And it sounds like United are doing similar. They're still trying to get Ashworth, with Newcastle putting him on gardening leave as they attempt to negotiate.

So while this is initially quite confusing, it actually makes a lot of sense. Liverpool are attempting a grand restructuring of their behind-the-scenes staff for the post-Jurgen Klopp era.

Michael Edwards oversees that for FSG, while Hughes will have control of Liverpool's plans. Wilcox is almost certainly another piece of that, either for the academy or in another technical role under Hughes.

United, presumably, have the same idea. However, if they really are thinking about a sporting director position, then Liverpool could face a struggle here by offering a 'smaller' role.

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