Ed Woodward is clearly a tremendous businessman but does he really know that much about football?
Manchester United’s transfer policy with Woodward at the helm over the last few year suggests he doesn’t.
The 44-year-old doesn’t deserve to shoulder all of the blame for United’s lack of recent success in the transfer market - David Moyes and his successor Louis van Gaal had just as much input over the past two-and-a-half years - it’s just abundantly clear that he needs some help.
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The Daily Mail reported last month that Van Gaal, who has spent a quarter of a billion pounds on signings since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014, was no longer responsible for dealing with transfers following a series of underwhelming deals.
Woodward, in his role as United’s executive vice-chairman, stepped in and increased his own level of responsibility to ensure the Red Devils are competing for the world’s best players.
Woodward has wasted time chasing unobtainable targets
But this is where Woodward has got it all wrong in the past: he’s wasted precious time attempting to secure the services of unobtainable players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Neymar.
One suspects that before arriving at Old Trafford, Woodward was partial to the odd game of Championship Manager.
Jose Mourinho wants to bring in Andrea Berta
Jose Mourinho, having watched on from afar, is keen to ensure that Woodward is devoting all of his time and attention to tying up more commercial deals for Manchester United - his area of expertise - if he replaces Van Gaal at Old Trafford this summer.
According to the Mirror, Mourinho wants United to have a sporting director - in this case Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta.
The Italian, who is a close friend of super agent Jorge Mendes, would be in control of transfers at Old Trafford alongside Mourinho.
And judging by Atletico’s success in the transfer market over recent seasons, it could potentially be a significant coup if United successfully lure Berta away from the Vicente Calderon.
The 2013-14 La Liga champions have made a whole host of excellent decisions in the transfer market over recent seasons, including signing Antoine Griezmann, replacing loanee Thibaut Courtois with Jan Oblak, and selling Jackson Martinez to China for a profit despite the fact the Colombian striker flopped in La Liga.
Mourinho will need to overhaul United squad
In order to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal next season, Mourinho will need to overhaul the Manchester United squad - or at least make some significant changes.
The Portuguese coach will have plenty of money to spend but is likely to feel far more assured if Berta is working alongside him, rather than Woodward.
Do Manchester United need a sporting director? Have your say by leaving a comment below.