Saints director of football offers resignation amid Man Utd approach


Manchester United have approached Southampton about hiring their director of football Jason Wilcox, who offered his resignation several days ago.

United want to make him their technical director as part of the new recruitment team and have made an offer equivalent to a year of his salary.

They believe this meets a buyout clause in his contract but Southampton are disputing the clause’s existence and are prepared to make him serve a year’s notice period before he can take a job elsewhere.

Who is Jason Wilcox?

  • In his playing career, Wilcox was a winger and won the Premier League title at Blackburn Rovers in 1995.
  • He also played for Leeds and Blackpool and won three England caps before retiring in 2006.
  • Wilcox then worked his way up to the role of academy director during 11 years at Manchester City.
  • The 53-year-old joined Southampton as director of football last summer after the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Saints are annoyed at the manner and timing of United’s approach with eight games left of the season as they chase promotion from the Championship.

United, on the other hand, believe they have been respectful and followed correct processes throughout their pursuit so far, and that it is unrealistic for Southampton to expect a higher sum.

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Southampton are prepared to agree a fee with United but one that reflects that they would be losing him at a crucial stage – but there appears to be an impasse with United currently believing they have met the contractual requirements for his release.

New United chief executive Omar Berrada knows Wilcox, who is understood to be keen on the move, well from their time together at Manchester City, where Wilcox worked his way up from coach to academy director during 11 years at the club.

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Berrada wants the former winger, who won the Premier League with Blackburn in 1995, to form a crucial part of the new recruitment setup at Old Trafford; to be guided, eventually, by sporting director-elect Dan Ashworth.

Ashworth is also the subject of talks over a compensation agreement with Newcastle, who have put him on a substantial period of gardening leave that may delay his official start until after the summer transfer window.

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United are also thought to be looking to add someone in a role that is likely to oversee player pathways throughout the INEOS group, which includes clubs Nice in France and Lausanne in Switzerland.

Saints boss Martin: I’ll talk to Wilcox

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Speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Ipswich, Southampton boss Russell Martin claims he hasn’t been told anything regarding the potential departure of Saints’ director of football Jason Wilcox to Manchester United

Southampton manager Russell Martin was asked about Man Utd’s approach for Wilcox in his post-match press conference following their 3-2 stoppage-time defeat at Ipswich in the Championship on Monday.

“I would say give me at least 10 minutes to get over the disappointment of tonight and we’ll chat at some point this week and I’m sure I’ll have more for you,” Martin said.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship clash between Ipswich and Southampton

“I’ve not spoken to the club (about it). You know my feelings on Jason, and I’ll have a chat with him after.

“I’ve just had a text saying how proud he was of the performance. The rest is, once I’m told I’ll let you know.”

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