Man United want technical director hired before January window - sources

Manchester United are focusing on the appointment of a technical director before the end of the year to provide a link between the manager and board at Old Trafford rather than rebuilding their recruitment structure with a director of football, sources have told ESPN FC.

United manager Jose Mourinho has been critical of the club's transfer dealings during the summer, expressing frustration at the failure to recruit a new centre-half.

Despite top-six rivals Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal moving away from the traditional British model of a manager and chief executive controlling transfer recruitment, United have remained loyal to the formula that was largely successfully during Sir Alex Ferguson's 27-year reign.

However, the club hierarchy, led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, accept the need to update recruitment operations, having overhauled the scouting system since Ferguson retired in 2013.

Sources have told ESPN FC that a technical director is favoured by Woodward and United's owners, the Glazer family, with the appointment working alongside Woodward and Mourinho rather than being handed the responsibility of driving the recruitment process.

With Woodward having responsibilities beyond overseeing transfers, the appointment of a technical director would provide Mourinho with a daily contact in terms of discussing recruitment and updates on progress.

During United's summer tour of the United States, Mourinho had telephone contact with Woodward but, with the executive vice-chairman splitting his time between England and United's Los Angeles base, the lack of progress on incoming transfers became a source of frustration for him.

The addition of a technical director -- United hope to make an appointment before the January transfer window opens -- is regarded as an important step that will improve communication between the manager's office and the club hierarchy.