Lille's Luis Campos Says Manchester United Should Hire a Sporting Director

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: Sir Alex Ferguson next to Manchester United chief-executive Ed Woodward ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 06, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Lille sporting director Luis Campos has said Manchester United should hire a sporting director after the club's dramatic fall from grace.

Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recently refused to endorse rumours the club will hire a director of football, stating United's evolving recruitment strategy is satisfactory, per Metro.

However, Campos has said United should restructure after the failure of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. The Lille director is a friend of Mourinho and explained Woodward must find a way to bridge the gap between the commercial and football ambitions of the club.

Lille's general manager Marc Ingla (front L) and Lille's Portuguese sports director Luis Campos (front 2L) sits next to former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (front 2R) as they watch the French L1 football match Lille (LOSC) vs Montpellier (MHSC)
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Getty Images

Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t Metro), Campos explained why he believes United have struggled to find the right balance:

"I speak to Jose every week, sometimes every day, and I saw that Jose, in my opinion, had difficulties in Manchester because the club has another culture, which I respect of course.

"If the coach is alone he's an easy target and he needs help. Everyone needs help in football. You can't play alone. Manchester United is an amazing club with an amazing story and for people around the world, it's difficult to understand what has happened to this club.

"It's difficult to see this club in difficulty, but if this difficulty is arriving it's because you have one problem. In my opinion the problem is sensibility. It's important to work together, sporting with economy. If you don't put these things together I believe you are heading for disaster!"

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward speaks to Manchester United co-chairman Avram Glazer ahead of the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on February 9, 2019 in London, Un
Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

United announced a club-record £627.1 million of revenue in September, placing them only second to Real Madrid. However, with the club out of this season's UEFA Champions League, the Red Devils might struggle to repeat its financial position if the team continues to fail on the pitch.

The 55-year-old Campos added he believes he could help United and said a manager can no longer handle both recruitment and training, making the sporting director role essential in an overall structure.

United had unprecedented success during Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure between 1986 to 2013, and the iconic manager was involved in all parts of the football club. Modern coaches do not carry this weight of responsibility anymore, and a more robust structure is in place at many top-flight clubs.

Campos has been involved in the recruitment of key talent at both Monaco and Lille, and as Mourinho's friend, he has an insight into the fellow Portuguese's experiences at Old Trafford before his sacking last December.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on October 6, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

United have opted to focus on young British talent last summer with the captures of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, and despite the trio impressing, the team have seen results stall.

The Red Devils have cleared big earners off their wage bill, including Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini, and Alexis Sanchez was allowed to leave on loan to Inter Milan.

The issue at United could be the speed of recruitment during a vital 12 months, and if current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cannot integrate youth and the remaining senior players into a winning team, Woodward and the Glazer ownership might have to consider a dramatic restructuring of the club's boardroom.  

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