Erik ten Hag speaks out on Man Utd sporting director appointment | Football

The Dutchman is delighted with Ineos’ structural plans (Pictures: Sky Sports / Getty)

Erik ten Hag has welcomed Manchester United’s rumoured interest in appointing a first-ever sporting director and believes the move would be hugely beneficial.

The club’s new minority owners, Ineos, are working to overhaul the behind-the-scenes structure at Old Trafford and have set their sights on Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth to lead the football side of affairs, particularly recruitment.

Ashworth, who has previously worked at Brighton and the FA, is believed to be keen to make the move to United and the club now need to negotiate a compensation package with Newcastle.

Ten Hag has worked under similar figures and structures throughout his career, with the absence of a sporting director at Old Trafford something of an anomaly in modern football, and he has welcomed any potential appointment if it benefits United.

‘I am working, I am happy now, in this construction and when things change they will tell me but in a club as Manchester United you can’t do everything alone, it is impossible, you need very good people around you,’ said the Dutchman on Thursday.

‘I am happy but a club like Manchester United also have to look for better, never be satisfied, good is not good enough, always looking for better and always try to every day to do better than the day before.

‘I think it is very important you are on one page about football philosophy, about football tactics, about the profiles of the players you need in the team so it is very important to have very good communication so you get the right players.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag has welcomed the appointment of a sporting director (Picture: Getty)

‘It is one of the most important factors to develop a good team, that you have the right players but also the right characters.

‘That means you have to do the right work and be aligned and it’s a long process to get the right players in.’

Ten Hag has worked in jobs where he has played an integral role in recruitment as well as others where he was solely focused on coaching, such as at Ajax under Marc Overmars, and only had minimal input on signings.

He continued: ‘I have worked in several situations where sometimes I was alone in charge, sometimes I had co-operation, so I have dealt with several situations.

‘I think it is so specific, especially on the top, and also so intense with the number of games you need people around who are on the same page, working on the same targets to achieve the high ambitions.’

Probed on whether he would have any input on the appointment of United’s new sporting director, he added: ‘I don’t know anything about changes. I talk with the new sporting organisation but it is not up to me.

‘I am working and my focus point at this moment is on this team. We plan in this construction what we have in the club and for the future. We have a look and now the window closed in January we are working on the plans for the summer.’

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