Manchester United hold talks with ex-Liverpool director Julian Ward over recruitment role | Football

Julian Ward [right] with Jurgen Klopp (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Sir Dave Brailsford has led talks with Julian Ward over becoming Manchester United’s head of recruitment.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe officially became the club’s co-owner on Tuesday night after his deal for around 27% of the club went through.

The 71-year-old has appointed Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc to United’s board, and the pair are overseeing appointments within the new structure.

Omar Berrada has agreed to join the club as United’s new CEO, while Dan Ashworeth has been placed on gardening leave ahead of a move to Old Trafford.

But the club want a figure solely focused on recruitment, who will then report into Ashworth.

Ward replaced Michael Edwards as Liverpool’s sporting director in 2022 but stepped down months later, in a major shock to Jurgen Klopp.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe visits Carrington Training Complex

Ratcliffe wants a ‘world class’ management team (Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Ward was influential figure during his decade at Anfield, helping Edwards to sign the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

He was directly responsible for the transfers of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez, who were both targets for Manchester United.

Having been out of work for the last 18 months, Ward is keen to return and the Athletic say he’s held talks with Brailsford over a recruitment role.

As yet, United are yet to fully decide on the structure of the set-up.

That will become clearer once Ashworth is through the door, and INEOS want their to be clear lines of responsibility for each individual.

‘We have to ensure that the right people end up in the right positions,’ said Ratcliffe.

‘Every person in management must be world class. And then it is important to create a positive, supportive, friendly and high-quality environment. That culture was missing before.

‘Only in such an environment can you get the best out of sportsmen. If successful, the results will follow automatically. That’s the plan and I believe in it.’

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