Manchester United have announced the appointment of a football director and technical director that will change how the club negotiates transfers.
The positions have been widely discussed and rumoured for a while, with a list of big names in the game being linked with the positions, although the club has confirmed they have promoted from within.
John Murtough, who has been with United for seven years and is currently head of football development, will be the new football director while Darren Fletcher, who joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s staff earlier this season, will be technical director.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “These are hugely important appointments that strengthen the progress we have been making as a club in recent years in our relentless pursuit of success.
“We have already made great steps forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent channel of academy talent reaching the first team and through our exceptional recruitment record.
“John has been integral to our progress in 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 development that curbs his leadership qualities and his years of experience in the game.
“Darren’s star achievements as a player and his journey from the 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 partaking in 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.”
Murtough added: “This is such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, academy and women’s team all performing strongly, and plenty of development still to come.
“It’s a privilege to be part of that process, and an honour to lead Manchester United’s football department, working alongside Ole, Casey [Stoney, women’s team head coach] and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club.”
Fletcher said of his appointment: “It is great to be back with the club and I am delighted to be taking on this new role.
We are moving in the right direction and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Ole and his coaching team, and now with John as the football director, to help bring young players through and further develop the football side of the club.