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Matt Judge has resigned from his position as director of football negotiations at Manchester United in the latest significant reshuffle in the club’s recruitment department. United are making notable changes to their backroom structure ahead of Erik ten Hag’s rebuild.
According to David Ornstein, Judge has considered his position in recent weeks after chief scout Jim Lawlor and head of global scouting Marcel Bout followed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward out of the exit door. After coming to an ‘amicable’ agreement with the club, he is working out a notice period ahead of departing later this year.
The report states Judge isn’t expected to play a role in United’s transfer business this summer, a sector that he has been heavily involved with since 2014. He was also responsible for negotiating transfers and contracts, an aspect that has come under heavy fire.
Under Richard Arnold’s leadership, football director John Murtough has been handed full control of football operations and is driving change as part of a backroom upheaval in M16. The central part of the rebuild will be Ajax boss Erik ten Hag’s summer arrival after he was appointed United’s new manager earlier this month.
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Former manager Louis van Gaal once described Judge as Woodward’s ‘right hand’ and has boasted significant power during a torrid period for the club since Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 retirement. His exit is as significant as any yet, if not more, and is a true indicator of the change Arnold and Murtough are overseeing in a new era.
Judge, Lawlor and Bout’s exits could make way for a new appointment, on top of a deputy football director. Highly-rated transfer guru Paul Mitchell, formerly of Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, has long been linked with a role at Old Trafford ahead of a potential AS Monaco departure this summer.
Judge’s resignation is understood to have come as a ‘shock’ to many at United, especially since he most recently negotiated Ten Hag’s appointment. But the wheels continue to turn on what feels like a motion of change for the Red Devils, which will undoubtedly excite fans after nine seasons of turmoil.
As for this summer, recruitment will be led by Murtough, Ralf Rangnick, who will start his consultancy role from July 1, and Ten Hag as the club begins a new approach to climbing back to the summit of English football. Whether that trio will be joined by a fourth man, perhaps Mitchell, remains to be seen.
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