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Manchester United and Celtic fighting over sporting director as Ed Woodward plans offer | Football | Sport

Manchester United and Celtic are both fighting over Juventus chief scout Matteo Tognozzi, who is being eyed as a sporting director. Both clubs are keen to revamp things behind the scenes. And who ultimately wins the race for the Italian remains to be seen.

Improvement at United has improved considerably ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho nearly two years ago.

However, the Red Devils are still keen to change things up as they hunt a first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Celtic, meanwhile, have endured a difficult Scottish Premiership campaign under Neil Lennon – and are keen to take action to ensure Rangers don’t dominate in the years ahead.

And Stretty News say both clubs are fighting over the chance to hire Juventus scout Tognozzi as sporting director.

It’s claimed United and Celtic have both been impressed by the way the Old Lady have done business in recent years, with the Serie A giants making shrewd signings such as Wojciech Szczesny and Weston McKennie.

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He’s been in charge of transfer activity at the club ever since David Gill stepped down eight years ago and, on his watch, dealings have had mixed results.

There have certainly been hits such as Bruno Fernandes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But there have also been plenty of misses with the likes of Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez.

Furthermore, the jury is still very much out on Paul Pogba – who continues to blow hot and cold ever since his blockbuster return from Juventus in 2016.

And that’s the same with Donny van de Beek, who has struggled to adjust to life in England ever since his move from Ajax back in the summer transfer window.

Meanwhile, speaking earlier in the season, Woodward vowed to back Solskjaer in the coming transfer windows ahead.

“What happens on the field is clearly our top priority, and while it’s not the same without fans in the stadium, we’ve seen lots of highs since our last meeting in April, with that 14-game unbeaten run to finish third in last season’s Premier League run and great wins against PSG and RB Leipzig on our return to the Champions League this season,” he said.

“Of course, we recognise there’s more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies.

“But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players.

“I told this forum back in April that we remained committed to strengthening the squad, while being disciplined in our spending during the pandemic.

“I believe we’ve delivered on that, with the additions we made during the summer taking our total net spending to over €200m since summer 2019 – more than any other major European club over that period.

“We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows.”

United are next in action against Newcastle on Sunday.

And they’ll be hoping for a repeat of what happened earlier in the season, with Solskjaer’s side cruising to a 4-1 win at St James’ Park.

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