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Manchester United stance on Michael Edwards appointment and John Murtough role

Manchester United stance on Michael Edwards appointment and John Murtough role

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Manchester United are unlikely to make a move for former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards as they continue to fine-tune their football operation.

Edwards has been linked with United and Chelsea since his exit from Anfield this summer and the 43-year-old’s stock is high after his success in recruitment at Liverpool.

The former Football League defender was the architect of the squad Jurgen Klopp has taken to success at Liverpool, but his departure at the end of last season has put other clubs on alert.

READ MORE: Ten Hag can’t forget United’s unsung hero in his starting XI

Edwards had planned to take a sabbatical after leaving Liverpool but Chelsea are keen to appoint him as their sporting director after Todd Boehly’s takeover at Stamford Bridge.

United have also been linked with a move for the in-demand Edwards, but the Manchester Evening News understands the club aren’t currently looking to add to their football department and that Edwards is more likely to end up at Chelsea.

Edwards is the latest high-profile name to be linked with a similar role at Old Trafford, with Paul Mitchell and Dan Ashworth also touted for positions, and there is a sense of frustration in some quarters given it has been made clear that John Murtough is now in charge of football operations.

Murtough was appointed football director in March 2021 but his role has been broadened since Richard Arnold was appointed as chief executive in February of this year. Murtough is leading United’s recruitment plans this summer, working closely with Erik ten Hag, and his responsibilities have narrowed to the first team after Andy O’Boyle was appointed as his deputy football director last month.

A United source said Murtough is “running the show” when it comes to the club’s footballing department and the 51-year-old retains the full support of the club.

United have made changes to their football structure recently, with Darren Fletcher appointed as technical director at the same time as Murtough, before O’Boyle arrived at the end of May.

The inner workings of the department are still being developed since the appointment of Arnold granted Murtough more power and Fletcher’s role is likely to become clearer this season after the former midfielder was pressed into coaching duties last season.

There could be further appointments in the future to provide additional support to Murtough, but such roles are unlikely to appeal to Edwards, Mitchell or Ashworth.

Murtough is overseeing a streamlined scouting operation, with notable recent departures including chief scout Jim Lawlor and head of global scouting Marcel Bout. United are now placing a greater emphasis on data analysis in their recruitment.

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