Man Utd takeover: Ratcliffe told to appoint ex-Milan director with right ‘experience’ after Serie A heroics

Jason Soutar
AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini with Thierry Henry during a CBS Sports broadcast.
Paolo Maldini with Thierry Henry during a CBS Sports broadcast.

Paolo Maldini is the right man to become Manchester United’s director of football under Sir Jim Ratcliffe, according to Mikael Silvestre.

The legendary defender – not Silvestre – oversaw AC Milan’s most successful spell of the last decade between 2019 and 2023.

His work as the club’s technical director made the Rossoneri Serie A champions in 2022, which was their first league title in 11 years.

Maldini helped bring players like Mike Maignan, Sandro Tonali, Fikayo Tomori, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez to San Siro.

All of those players have turned out to be massively successful for the Italian giants, while Manchester United have arguably had three massively successful signings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired over ten years ago.

Improving the club’s transfer dealings is likely to be one of Ratcliffe’s top priorities when his 25 per cent takeover of the Red Devils is eventually completed.

READ MORE: Maldini? Berta? Mitchell?: A deep(ish) dive into Ratcliffe’s six Man Utd sporting director targets

The British billionaire is eager to oversee all football activities at Old Trafford and has already decided to get rid of the club’s chief executive, Richard Arnold.

The appointment of a new director of football will be crucial and former United defender Silvestre believes Maldini is the right man for the job.

“Paolo Maldini has the experience and the knowledge to be good in this role,” Silvestre told “He could be a potential sporting director for Man United, because of his career and his connections and knowledge on the international level.

“Under his watch the club won a Serie A title.

“He has been in that role in Serie A for a big club for a while, so he definitely has the experience to be in that role.”

Milan’s trajectory over the last decade was somewhat similar to United’s, so the appointment of Maldini does make sense in that respect. Sleeping giants and all that.

There are rumours that Ratcliffe wants former manager Ferguson to be an advisor at Old Trafford and Silvestre thinks that is a good idea.

“Those meetings with Sir Alex should happen,” he added. “Whether it’s official or unofficial.

“Sir Alex has been following the team. He’s been going to every home game. He would have an acute understanding and opinion and he would be the best advisor for whoever comes and tries to rectify the ongoing situation.”

READ MORE: Ferdinand drivel sparks £50m Man Utd questions as Ratcliffe accepts Fergie trap over transfer boss