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Manchester United

Woodward set for advisory role as Fletcher and Murtough lead manager appointment

23:44 EAT 22/11/2021
Ed Woodward Man Utd
The executive vice chairman announced he would be stepping down from his role at the end of the year but could still be influential

Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is still expected to leave the club at the end of the year but could be used in an advisory capacity afterwards with the club searching for a new manager, GOAL can report. 

He announced he would step down at the end of 2021 following the European Super League debacle and he is expected to be replaced by Richard Arnold, who currently holds the role of group managing director. 

Woodward is involved in currently recruiting an interim manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, and while he will be involved in the search for a permanent manager before he departs, it is understood that it will be football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher who will oversee the transition. 

What do we know? 

Despite entering into the final few weeks of his tenure as executive vice chairman Woodward is still actively involved in club decisions. He was instrumental in the sacking of Solskjaer and was involved in the crisis meeting held on Saturday night. 

It is understood his replacement, who is expected to be Arnold, will be confirmed in due course and Woodward will likely be on hand for advice and guidance after his departure. 

It is believed the Glazer family wanted Woodward to remain in position but the 50-year-old announced his departure in April after being key to United’s involvement in the breakaway European Super League. At the time he said it would be difficult to walk away at the end of the year. 

In a statement then he said: "I am extremely proud to have served United, and it has been an honour to work for the world's greatest football club for the past 16 years. The club is well-positioned for the future, and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.” 

What next for United? 

Michael Carrick is taking charge as manager of the game against Villarreal. At the moment, though, he does not know how long he will be in charge.

Woodward is involved in the search for an interim manager and the club also wants to recruit a permanent manager to take over next summer. 

Who are the contenders for Man Utd manager? 

GOAL understands that Paris Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino is keen on taking the permanent position and would be interested in talking to the club about the job now.

United have held a long-term interest in the former Tottenham manager and planned to recruit him to be Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor in the summer of 2019 before Solskjaer was handed the position. 

Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are two other managers who are of interest to United while it is not expected Zinedine Zidane would make the move on a permanent or interim basis. 

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