Manchester United's reported desire to employ a director of football could become a reality in the summer, with Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici tipped to join the Red Devils, according to Italian reports.
Giovanni Capuano of Corriere della Sera (h/t the Mirror's Jack Rathborn) reported the Red Devils are closing in on Paratici, and the 46-year-old is ready to depart the Italian champions. Juve CEO Beppe Marotta has confirmed he is leaving the Old Lady, with Paratici potentially following his compatriot out of the Turin club.
Miguel Delaney of The Independent recently reported United had begun a "rigorous search" for a sporting director after recent failures in the transfer market. Paratici was said to be considered for the job alongside Roma's Monchi and former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar—who is the current CEO at Ajax.
Paratici oversaw the capture of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, but Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli is preparing an overhaul at board level.
Per Italian outlet il BiancoNero (h/t Rathborn), Agnelli confirmed the sporting director would not leave Juve imminently.
"Paratici? He is not leaving the club in the coming months," said Agnelli. "Marotta's successor will be named by the board of directors on the 25th of October."
However, Warren Haughton of The Sun reported Paratici could stay at Juve after declaring his love for the club, and he might be rewarded with Marotta's role.
According to Haughton, Paratici recently said:
"We have been together for seven or eight years now and this season has started in the best possible way.
I never thought about leaving the club. I am in love with Juventus.
Most of the players who leave always maintain a respect for Juventus.
At Juventus, it’s like a family, an atmosphere that was passed down over the years from owners to directors to players."
Per Haughton, United have spent nearly £700 million on transfers in the past four years, but the club are no nearer to challenging for the Premier League title since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
United have since employed three coaches, but each has failed to lead the club towards consistent displays.
Current manager Jose Mourinho impressed in his first season, winning the League Cup and UEFA Europa League, but his side have lost their identity in recent months.
United currently sit 10th in the Premier League, and the club are desperate for fresh leadership in the hierarchy at Old Trafford.
Mourinho has become increasingly aggravated at the Theatre of Dreams, and as the Paul Pogba debacle continues, the starting XI appears unhappy and demotivated under the current regime.