Man Utd set to land ‘key’ for Ratcliffe as Southampton ‘anger’ at ‘derisory’ offer proves futile

Will Ford
Sir Jim Ratfliffe alongside the Man Utd badge with Old Trafford in the background
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has changed the Man Utd transfer priorities.

Manchester United made Southampton a ‘derisory’ offer for their director of football Jason Wilcox, but the Saints’ ‘anger’ is futile.

Wilcox only moved to the Saints in the summer having spent ten years working in the Manchester City academy, but has been earmarked by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the new Manchester United regime as the ideal candidate to become their new technical director.

‘A key part for Ratcliffe’

Ratcliffe has already lured Omar Berrada from City to become the club’s new CEO, while Dan Ashworth has been poached from Newcastle to become sporting director.

Wilcox hired Russell Martin as Saints manager last summer and oversaw a hectic transfer window following their relegation from the Premier League, which saw them bring in over £160m through player sales.

And the way in which he dealt with that situation, along with his success in bringing talent through at Manchester City, has drawn admiring glances from Ratcliffe and his cronies.

The Sun claim Wilcox is ‘viewed as a key part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s behind the scenes rebuild at Old Trafford’, and will work closely with Ashworth in his role as technical director.

Southampton ‘anger’ proves futile

United are said to have offered a year’s salary as compensation to Southampton, with that ‘derisory’ offer and the timing of it – given the Saints’ promotion push – said to have ‘angered’ the club bosses.

Southampton rejected the approach but Wilcox looks set to join the United revolution in any case, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that the former winger has resigned from his post at St Mary’s.

The transfer expert wrote on X: ‘Jason Wilcox has resigned from Southampton — he’s set to join Manchester United as new technical director!

‘Southampton refuse to accept fee so Wilcox will resign as he wants to join Man United project.

‘Former Man City Head of Academy will be key part of Man United new era.’

Wilcox will have to serve a 12-month notice period if he has indeed resigned his post.

It’s not yet clear how duties will be split between Berrada, Ashworth and Wilcox, but Ratcliffe and Ineos are taking significant strides towards having the club structure in place ahead of the summer, when big decisions – including whether Erik ten Hag will remain as manager – will need to be made and acted upon.