Man United target Wilcox as next technical director – source

Manchester United have made a formal approach to Southampton for director of football Jason Wilcox, a source has told ESPN.

Wilcox is United’s top target to become their new technical director as part of the recruitment shake-up being led by co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS team.

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The club have made a formal offer of compensation for the former Blackburn Rovers and England winger, although terms have not yet been agreed with Southampton.

The Championship side, according to a source, are unhappy with the timing of the approach as they attempt to win promotion back to the Premier League.

Southampton manager Russell Martin said after their 3-2 defeat to Ipswich on Monday: “I would say give me at least 10 minutes to get over the disappointment of tonight and we’ll chat at some point this week and I’m sure I’ll have more for you.

“I’ve not spoken to the club [about it]. You know my feelings on Jason, and I’ll have a chat with him after. I’ve just had a text saying how proud he was of the performance. The rest is once I’m told I’ll let you know.”

United want Wilcox in place before the summer transfer window.

Their bid to install Dan Ashworth as director of football has stalled because of Newcastle United‘s reluctance to reduce their demands.

Ashworth is currently on gardening leave, a suspension from work on full pay for the duration of a notice period, and United are keen to avoid a similar situation with Wilcox.

They are hopeful compromises can be reached with both Newcastle and Southampton.

Wilcox is well-known to United’s incoming CEO Omar Berrada after their time together at Manchester City.

Wilcox, 53, oversaw the academy at the Etihad Stadium before moving to Southampton In the summer of 2023.

As a player, he was part of Blackburn’s 1995 Premier League title-winning team and was capped three times by England between 1996 and 2000.