Manchester United’s chief scout, Jim Lawlor, and Marcel Bout, its head of global scouting, have both left the club, the Premier League side confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawlor was promoted to United’s chief scout in 2014 having initially been an analyst since 2005, while Bout was part of Louis van Gaal’s setup at the club from 2014 and stayed on following the Dutch manager’s departure. United’s recruitment record has come under much scrutiny of late, with the club languishing down in sixth in the Premier League standings, 22 points off leader Liverpool, despite hundreds of millions of pounds spent on the current squad.

“Jim played a key role in the development of multiple trophy-winning Manchester United teams and was an important source of guidance to Sir Alex Ferguson and each of the managers who have followed him,” a United spokesperson said.

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“Marcel has played an important part as an assistant coach and in the strengthening of our scouting capabilities in recent years. Jim and Marcel leave the club with our warmest thanks for their significant contribution and our very best wishes for the future.”

The club, which is yet to appoint a permanent head coach as successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the Norwegian’s departure last November, is not only trailing in the top-four race this season, it is out of all cup competitions.

The 20-time English top-flight champion will finish this season trophyless for the fifth successive campaign, while it will be nine years since its last league triumph.

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