Man United bosses tour top clubs ahead of rebuild – source

Manchester United‘s recruitment team are touring Europe’s biggest clubs ahead of the transfer window in an effort to get a jump start on this summer’s squad rebuild, a source has told ESPN.

Football director John Murtough and director of football negotiations Matt Hargreaves had lunch with Barcelona sporting director Deco in Spain on Monday and held meetings with Atlético Madrid on Tuesday.

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Murtough and Hargreaves are also set to meet counterparts at Real Madrid as well as clubs in Portugal and Italy.

United, whose football operations are now being run by new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, have money to spend in the summer window despite concerns about breaching profit and sustainability rules.

A new striker and a centre-back are among the club’s priorities but the size of the squad overhaul is likely to depend on how much money is raised through outgoing transfers.

Mason Greenwood‘s future has been a topic of discussion during Murtough’s trip to Spain, although a source has told ESPN that Barcelona, who have been linked with the 22-year-old, have distanced themselves from a move.

Greenwood has impressed during a loan spell at Getafe, where he’s scored eight goals in 26 games, but United, according to sources, are finding potential suitors still have concerns surrounding the criminal investigation which ended his career at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe has suggested the door could be open for Greenwood, who is under contract until 2025, to return, but sources have told ESPN that a permanent departure in the summer remains the most likely outcome. United are expected to ask for around £40 million ($51m).

Murtough’s future at United is uncertain as Ratcliffe and his team continue to make structural changes behind the scenes.

Dan Ashworth, currently on gardening leave from Newcastle, is set to arrive as sporting director while Ratcliffe and right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford also want to appoint a head of recruitment and head of performance.

However, sources have told ESPN that Ratcliffe and Brailsford are keen to keep Murtough, who has been heavily involved in planning for the summer, in some capacity after impressing his new bosses since the takeover.