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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Football

United rule out director of football role to help Moyes
AFP
London, October 26, 2013
First Published: 20:12 IST(26/10/2013)
Last Updated: 20:14 IST(26/10/2013)

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insists there is no chance a director of football will be brought in to work with boss David Moyes.

Moyes and Woodward were criticised for their efforts in the last transfer window, which included failed bids for several players and ended with only Marouane Fellaini arriving at Old Trafford.

With both Moyes and Woodward new to their roles, it has been suggested United might consider hiring a senior figure to help in the transfer market.

Manchester City, with Txiki Begiristain, and Tottenham, with Franco Baldini, have both successfully brought in directors of football to work with their managers.

But Woodward is adamant it is not in United's plans as the club trusts Moyes to get it right.

"We don't have a director of football because we back the manager," Woodward told United We Stand, the Manchester United fan magazine.

"We don't want the manager to be a hired gun for the next two or three years. We want the next generation to enjoy having him there creating his own legacy.

"When a scout recommends a brilliant right-back or a coach recommends one from our academy, we want the manager to weigh up what is right for the team.

"He can decide. He is the football expert."

Moyes did not begin work until July 1, after United had opted against buying the Scot out of his Everton contract, reducing the time available to bring in new players.

As a consequence, Marouane Fellaini, who had reportedly been available for £23.5 million prior to July 31, was the only significant purchase at a cost of £27.5 million from Everton.

Woodward acknowledged United had a tough time in the transfer market, but he said the club didn't want to sign players in advance of Moyes arriving.

"It was disappointing that we didn't sign more players but I always knew it was going to be a tough window," said Woodward.

"As a club, we didn't want to impose a plan on the new manager that had come from the old manager.

"I know other clubs have done that across the Premier League, where a director of football has bought players even before the new manager has arrived.

"We didn't want to do that. He (Moyes) has the same power that Alex did."

United's failed attempt to sign Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao on transfer deadline day appeared to bring a farcical end to the window.

"We should have denied all the stories on the last day about Herrera because they were rubbish," said Woodward of a bizarre saga that included three unidentified men turning up at La Liga headquarters trying to force through a deal.

"I've got no idea (who they were)," said Woodward.

"I had seven people call me on the last day and try to insert themselves into a deal.

"I can only imagine that people who wanted to insert themselves into the deal turned up at the league's offices.

"They were nothing to do with us, nothing to do with the agent and, according to Bilbao, nothing to do with them.

"Once they had said to us: 'Only the buy clause being met will issue a release', we knew it wasn't going to happen."


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