Man Utd chase Saints’ Jason Wilcox for technical director role

April 2 – Manchester United has initiated discussions to recruit Jason Wilcox, director of football at Southampton, as technical director within the club’s revamping footballing division under the control of new shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

While Manchester United remains optimistic about securing Wilcox, negotiations face hurdles as Southampton, with Premier League ambition of their own, have expressed discontent over the timing of United’s pursuit of Wilcox, and are demanding enhanced compensation terms.

Reports suggest Man Utd have offered approximately one year’s worth of Wilcox’s salary as compensation.

Should the deal materialise, Wilcox would collaborate closely with Dan Ashworth, the incoming director of football who was placed on gardening leave by Newcastle United in February. The Magpies are reportedly seeking approximately £20 million in compensation for Ashworth’s departure.

Wilcox, a former England international with three caps to his name, commenced his coaching journey at Manchester City’s academy in 2012 before ascending to the role of academy director five years later. He is credited with nurturing the development of talents like Phil Foden, Rico Lewis, and Cole Palmer during his tenure at City.

Since his transition to Southampton, Wilcox has played a significant role in attracting several promising youngsters from Manchester City to the Saints. Last summer, Southampton secured the signings of Shea Charles and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, with Roméo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu, Samuel Edozie, and Juan Larios among the other notable acquisitions from City in previous windows.

After more than a decade at Manchester City, Wilcox departed to aid in the rebuilding process at Southampton. However, he may find himself reunited with Omar Berrada, Manchester United’s incoming chief executive officer, who resigned from a similar role at City in January.

Following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.3 billion acquisition of a minority 27.7% stake in the Old Trafford club in February, Ratcliffe initiated the recruitment of several “world-class” appointments – preferring to shore up the club behind the scenes over immediate large-scale investment on the pitch.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1712071967labto1712071967ofdlr1712071967owedi1712071967sni@g1712071967niwe.1712071967yrrah1712071967