- Manchester United have appointed 50 new scouts in a rigorous revamp
- United plan to scour the globe for the next generation of young talent
- The new appointments follow a root-and-branch review of the academy
Manchester United have appointed 50 new scouts in a matter of months as part of their rigorous behind-the-scenes revamp.
One of the main findings from United’s root-and-branch review into recruitment and the academy was the need for more talent spotters on the ground across the globe.
Club bosses have searched far and wide to identify additional support, with new staff hired on every continent in a bid to beat rivals to stars.
It is understood first-team and academy recruitment now comes under the same umbrella. United previously had operated with a tight team reporting into management, particularly under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sanctioned the move after identifying the need for expansion and strengthening across the board, and the club now has more than one pair of eyes in key countries.
That has seen 50 scouts hired since January, with help from headhunters Nolan Partners. Louis van Gaal’s opposition scout, Marcel Bout, has also been promoted as part of the restructure.
Bout has risen to head of global scouting at Old Trafford – reported by Dutch newspaper AD – and will now work alongside chief scout Jim Lawlor.
It can also be revealed that Bout sought Van Gaal’s blessing to continue in his role after the much-maligned boss was sacked at the end of last season.
Van Gaal saw no problem with the 53-year-old — who also remained at Bayern Munich following the Dutchman’s departure in 2011 — working for Jose Mourinho.
Very few of the appointments have been announced, though ex St Gallen man Armand Benneker – a Belgian former Dundee United central defender – is the latest arrival.
Roy Beukenkamp, Henny de Regt and Tommy Moller Nielsen are all working in Europe. The latter is stationed in Scandinavia, a region Premier League sides are targeting strongly. United’s global band of scouts will fly into Carrington twice a year for briefings as the club continues to monitor its recruitment strategy.
Head of Academy Nicky Butt and his operations manager, Nick Cox, have interest in the new approach working as they attempt to stave off competition for the world’s brightest teenagers.
Derek Langley, the former head of recruitment who left United back in July, is understood to have taken up a position with a leading management agency.