AC Milan icon Paolo Maldini fuels talk of surprise Man Utd role under Sir Jim Ratcliffe

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Paolo Maldini has fuelled reports suggesting he could be in line for a surprise role at Manchester United once Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.4billion deal for a 25 per cent stake is ratified. The AC Milan icon is among the candidates to become a recruitment executive during United’s impending sporting overhaul.

Sir Jim has reportedly reached an agreement with the Glazer family over minority investment, which includes transferring power over the club’s football operations.

The 71-year-old’s delayed arrival is said to be down to legal issues, given the complexity of the deal. But it isn’t at risk and looks a matter of when, rather than if.

Once he enters power at Old Trafford, Sir Jim will oversee significant change in the sporting side of the club’s hierarchy.

United have already confirmed that Richard Arnold has left his role as chief executive, with INEOS figure Jean-Claude Blanc the hot favourite to replace him.

But reports claim that John Murtough is also expected to lose his job as football director. Sir Jim and INEOS are said to be unimpressed by the club’s recruitment over the last decade.

His departure would also call for a replacement director of football. Paul Mitchell – formerly of Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, the Red Bull group and AS Monaco – has been strongly linked.

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Man Utd: Paolo Maldini has spoken about his next job. (Image: Getty)

The Telegraph claim that Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman, Atalanta’s Lee Congerton and Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta are all under consideration.

As is Maldini, alongside partner Ricky Massara, after being sacked as AC Milan’s technical director in the summer.

And while aiming fire at the San Siro giants over the manner of his exit this week, the 55-year-old hinted that he would be interested in making United his next destination.

“For my job, the alternatives to Milan are very limited. I could never go to another Italian team,” Maldini told La Repubblica.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to shake up Man Utd. (Image: Getty)


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“Possibly, I would only evaluate the offer of a high-level foreign team. I like winning and building. Saudi Arabia could be a stimulating option, who knows.”

There has been some talk of Sir Jim appointing more than one recruitment executive as part of his highly-anticipated upheaval.

It could result in, for example, Mitchell taking the role of director of football while a figure like Maldini works alongside him.

No more significant changes are expected until Sir Jim properly gets to work at Old Trafford, though, which may not be before the new year if delays continue.