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Man Utd risk nightmare start of Sir Jim Ratcliffe era as Roma ‘meet’ top director target | Football | Sport

Manchester United face missing out on one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s leading candidates to become the club’s new sporting director amid an approach from AS Roma, according to reports. Roma are overseeing significant change off the pitch after the departures of general manager Tiago Pinto and manager Jose Mourinho.

Ratcliffe expects his £1.3billion investment in United to go through in mid-February at the latest, when he will receive a 25 per cent stake in the club and control over all football operations.

Sir Dave Brailsford is currently completing an audit at the INEOS founder’s request ahead of making “ruthless” changes to drive improved performance on the pitch.

Some of those decisions are set to involve personnel in United’s sporting structure. A new head of recruitment and sporting director will reportedly be appointed ahead of the summer transfer window.

Paul Mitchell is among the leading candidates for a position at Old Trafford, joining Dan Ashworth, Michael Edwards, Julian Ward, Dougie Freedman and Andrea Berta.

However, the former Tottenham chief could soon be off the market as Roma look to hijack United’s interest in his services.

According to Italian reporter Gianluca di Marzio, Roma are actively searching for replacements ahead of Pinto’s exit at the start of February.

And it’s claimed that a meeting has already been held with Mitchell about the new role, as well as former Chelsea technical director Christopher Vivell.

In July, the Blues placed Vivell on gardening leave just seven months after hiring the German as part of a similar upheaval to the recruitment that United are set to undergo.

But Mitchell is firmly in the Serie A giants’ sights, although a decision on their preferred candidate has yet to be made.

Ratcliffe and INEOS will have alternatives to Mitchell if he evades the exciting project at Old Trafford. That said, the 42-year-old could prefer a job at United.

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