Jason Wilcox: Southampton director of football offers resignation as Manchester United make approach

Man Utd have approached Southampton over hiring their director of football Jason Wilcox; United want to make the former Blackburn winger their technical director; Saints are annoyed at manner and timing of United’s approach but United believe they have been respectful

Image: Jason Wilcox has been Southampton director of football since last summer

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.

  • Neville alarmed by ‘horrible’ Man Utd performance
  • Watch free Premier League highlights
  • Stream Sky Sports on NOW | Get Sky Sports

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith and Melissa Reddy discuss Manchester United’s woeful performance against Brentford and whether Erik ten Hag has the backing of the board going forward

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Brentford and Manchester United

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports News’ Melissa Reddy breaks down exactly why Manchester United are targeting Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth as their new potential sporting director

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

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

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.”

Why Man Utd want Wilcox

Sky Sports News’ Lyall Thomas:

Wilcox made his name in football administration at Manchester City, where he was a coach and then academy director.

He joined City in 2012 after spending a few years out of the game post-retirement. After taking over the U18s a year later, he led the side to a league title win and two FA Youth Cups.

Wilcox then assumed the role as academy director in 2017 and oversaw the structuring of staff, development of players and instilling of a professional ethos.

In the three years running up to his departure to Southampton last year, both City’s U21s and U18s won three consecutive league titles under his leadership featuring the likes of Oscar Bobb, Rico Lewis and Cole Palmer, who all subsequently broke into the City first team.

Image: Oscar Bobb came through Man City's academy under Jason Wilcox

The City academy also sold a raft of players for profit across Europe during his time, including Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia to Southampton.

Among his staff at City was Joe Shields, who also went to Southampton and is now part of Chelsea’s recruitment setup. Chelsea have since signed Lavia.

To their credit, Southampton’s owners Sport Republic took a risk in bringing Wilcox from an academy to oversee their entire club as sporting director – but he has been able to install some of the same structures and ethos into the Saints in just nine months there.

He oversaw the appointment of Martin as manager and last summer’s player recruitment, which included Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Shea Charles on loan from Man City.

Southampton have been competing for promotion straight back to the Premier League all season, although Monday’s defeat to Ipswich left them 12 points short of the top two albeit with two games in hand.

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here…

Sourse: skysports.com

No votes yet.
Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *