John Murtough out at Manchester United after Ratcliffe investment

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
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John Murtough steps down ahead of offseason shake-up

John Murtough is the latest domino to fall after billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe purchased 25% of Manchester United in December. 

News Insights

  • Man Utd director of football John Murtough has resigned.
  • Co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe thanked Murtough for "support and integrity.”
  • Dan Ashworth is expected to take over for Murtough.
  • More moves could come in the offseason as Ratcliffe takes control of sporting operations.

Manchester United Director of Football John Murtough stepped down from his position at the club on Tuesday. The 53-year-old had worked at Man Utd for the last 11 years. Murtough was a controversial figure at the club, often viewed by fans as a figurehead for the club’s unpopular owners, the Glazer Family.  
With Murtough out, current Newcastle Sporting Director Dan Ashworth is expected to take over at Manchester United. Ashworth has been on Gardening leave since mid-February. 

Murtough steps down 

John Murtough’s time as the head of football at Manchester United is over. The club confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday.  
The writing has been on the wall for months after Sir Jim Ratcliffe purchased 25% of the club and took over footballing operations back in December.  
Since taking over in December, Ratcliffe and INEOS Director of Sport Dave Brailsford have already hired Omar Berrada from Manchester City to be the club’s new Chief Executive.  
Ratcliffe said of Murtough, “We want to thank John for his loyal service over many years, and for his support and integrity during this period of transition. He leaves with our best wishes for the future.” 
Joel Glazer, co-chairman of Manchester United, said, “After 11 years of tireless work for the club, John has mutually agreed with us that now is the right time to step aside and allow the new football leadership structure to be put in place.” 

More moves coming at Man Utd 

Murtough’s departure is just one move of many Manchester United are expected to make between now and the start of the 2024/25 Premier League season.  
For one, the club are expected to sign Newcastle Sporting Director Dan Ashworth to replace Murtough. The former Brighton recruitment lead has been on gardening leave since February while Man Utd and Newcastle negotiate his departure.  
Southampton for Director of Football Jason Wilcox is another name who could be coming to Manchester United this offseason. Reports from England claim he is Ratcliffe’s top target to fill the club’s vacant technical director position.  

Ten Hag out?

The most high-profile name who could be out of the club is manager Erik Ten Hag. The Dutchman has failed to deliver on the high expectations that once surrounded him when he joined the club in 2022.  
The 54-year-old has also been blamed for the club’s poor transfer strategy since he took over. High-profile signings such as Antony and Casemiro have flopped at the club under Ten Hag.  
If Ten Hag does go, there is a very long list of names who Ratcliffe could sign to potentially replace him. Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly one of the club’s top targets. However, other reports claim Ratcliffe might prefer someone more pragmatic like Wolves’ Gary O’Neil or Brentford’s Thomas Frank. Current England manager Gareth Southgate has even been mentioned.

Erik Ten Hag has seven league matches left to save his job. His Man Utd side is also still in the FA Cup with a semi-final match against Coventry City on April 21 coming up. Man Utd are huge favourites for that match at the betting sites

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