MANCHESTER UNITED are adopting the same transfer strategy as Chelsea by looking to hire ex-players in director-of-football roles.
That’s according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth, who believes the Blues bringing in Petr Cech as director of football will provide a layer between manager and technical director Marina Granovskaia.
It is unclear who that manager will be, nevertheless.
Maurizio Sarri has delivered on his pre-season targets by finishing third in the Premier League and guiding Chelsea to two cup finals, but a toxic relationship with the supporters has rendered his future at Stamford Bridge precarious.
Reports suggest the Blues will target club legend Frank Lampard, current boss of Derby, to replace the Italian – and Sheth feels he would form a solid partnership with Cech should the latter be appointed director of football.
“Part of the thinking to bring in someone like Petr Cech would be almost another layer in that transfer structure whereby the manager can bounce ideas off Petr Cech”
“If you look at the last three seasons, I’ve been to a few news conferences at Chelsea, and the one thing that stood out is that both Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri have always deferred to the club,” he told Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast.
“That’s where there seems to be a division. Conte would always say [when asked] are you going to sign this player, ‘I don’t know, it’s up to the club.’
“Whereas the club have been very, very forthright in the way that they structure and the way they explain the structure at Chelsea.
“The manager will say ‘I want to have this player.’ Then it will be signed off by Marina Granovskaia and it will be paid for by Roman Abramovich.”
Sheth’s comments came after it was claimed:
- Sir Alex Ferguson is FRUSTRATED with Ed Woodward and Man Utd
- United are targeting THIS Benfica star instead of Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly
- The Red Devils have been ALERTED over Everton midfielder Richarlison
He continued: “I think part of the thinking to bring in someone like Petr Cech would be almost another layer in that transfer structure whereby the manager can bounce ideas off Petr Cech.
“As opposed to the manager having to go straight to Marina Granovskaia, because now he can focus more on the coaching side and picking the team.
“If he’s got someone like Petr Cech there, just say for example it is Frank Lampard, he knows Petr Cech very well, they’ve played together, they’re both legends at Chelsea, so when Frank Lampard is asked about ‘are you going to sign this player?’ He can defer to Petr Cech and Petr Cech can be that go-between between himself and the upper echelons at Stamford Bridge.
“Now, since Michael Emenalo left the role of technical director, Marina Granovskaia has effectively taking up that role of sporting director, ok’ing the deals, sorting out the contracts etcetera.
“It just seems to me, with all these rumours about Frank Lampard and what we’ve learnt about Petr Cech, it just seems like there’s a slight move towards players, ex-players who have got relationships with the club, who are well thought of at the club to come into the club – something Manchester United might be looking at doing as well.”
It is believed United have sounded out former captain Rio Ferdinand over hopping into their own director-of-football role, while ex-midfielder Darren Fletcher is also rumoured to have held talks over a transfer-related job at Old Trafford.
But as well as a couple of their old heroes, further reports suggest Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber is in contention.