Manchester United are reportedly stepping up their search for a technical director AFTER the close of the summer transfer window.
The transfer deadline came and went on Thursday afternoon with United and much-maligned executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in particular criticised by large portions of their fan base for a lack of activity.
United did bring in defenders Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire from Crystal Palace and Leicester for fees of £55m and £80m respectively - the latter a world-record fee. Promising young winger Daniel James also arrived from Swansea for £15m.
But the promised major rebuild never arrived with striker Romelu Lukaku the only high-profile exit in a £73.9m move to Italian giants Inter Milan. And the search for a high-profile replacement floundered as talks with Juventus ace Paulo Dybala collapsed.
As a result United will go into the new season looking very light in terms of out-and-out strikers, with Marcus Rashford the most established in the squad. They are also a best-priced 40/1 to win the title - the biggest odds they have started a season in Premier League history.
Before the window fans had wanted a technical director to take away transfer responsibility from Woodward - who has enjoyed mixed success in leading that area since the departures of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill in 2013.
Now, according to respected BBC football insider Simon Stone - known as a strong United and Woodward source - the Red Devils will step up their search for a new technical director.
Stone claims that Woodward spoke with former United players Rio Ferdinand and Darren Fletcher a number of weeks ago and the pair are being kept in the loop about developments regarding the role. The news they could be in the frame may further anger United fans - who would prefer an experienced head.
Stone also says it is thought the role will not include actually negotiating with or signing transfer targets.
United begin their 2019-2020 Premier League campaign against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (1630 BST kickoff) and you can read our free betting tips and predictions for that game here.