Edwin van der Sar or Monchi to become Manchester United’s first ever director of football

Manchester United have begun the early stages of their search to identify a first ever director of football at the club, with former goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar and Roma’s iconic transfer chief Monchi in the running.

A troublesome summer and unhappy exploration into the transfer window has seen the powers that be at United reconsider the current system and put into place a move that had been suggested for some time.

United have begun sounding out candidates for the position as they begin an extensive period of assessment to fill the role which could arguably become one of the biggest appointments in the club’s history.

Former Red Devils goalkeeper Van der Sar is seen as a favourable option due to his links to Old Trafford and the stellar work he has undertaken at Ajax, as report the Independent.

Roma’s transfer chief Monchi and Juventus’ Fabio Paratici are currently viewed as the most desired options for the position however, it is understood.

While Jose Mourinho has been well supported during his time at the club, United failed to add any late arrivals before the window closed.

Mourinho, contracted to 2020, was keen on a central defender but failed to get one, with the view being that none of those proposed would be a significant improvement.

A director of football would work closely with United’s already vast recruitment team, with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and Mourinho maintaining key roles. They would ensure that a long-term plan is in place and potentially avoid last-minute scrambles for new faces.

Across Manchester, United are looking at expanding their Carrington training base following the launch of their women’s team, who are based at The Cliff, their former training ground.

Earlier this year they appointed Colette Roche as their chief operating officer and are understood to be focussing on their commercial operation, which appears to have rebounded following a relatively quiet spell.

Commercial revenue fell by £1.4m in the current financial year’s second quarter but went up 2.4 per cent in the third quarter.

Group managing director Richard Arnold, who oversaw world-record deals with US car manufacturers and shirt sponsors Chevrolet and sportswear giants adidas, has been heavily involved in the operation with a number of new partners recently announced.

Sportsmail understands that United’s shirt-sleeve deal with Kohler, announced last month, is to net the club around $100m (£78.32m), with the American homeware firm paying $20m (£15.66m) a season for five years.

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