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“No conversations…” – Premier League owner denies Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Man United sporting director rumours



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Crystal Palace co-owner and CEO Steve Parish has addressed rumours of sporting director Dougie Freedman being linked to the job at Manchester United under the incoming Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The Premier League sporting director has helped sign the likes of Eberechi Eze, Marc Guéhi and Joachim Andersen for the south London club.

In the coming days, an agreement is set to be made between the Glazer family and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos team for the British billionaire to take a 25 per cent stake in the Old Trafford club.

His investment, which is rumoured to be around £1.3 billion, is set to include full sporting control at United and there is expected to be a range of changes within the setup.

It has already been confirmed that chief executive Richard Arnold will step away from his role and football director John Murtough seems to be another who could leave once Ratcliffe takes charge.

The Ineos chief is looking for an experienced sporting director for the club who have struggled to succeed in transfer markets since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Paul Mitchell and Freedman have been two of the touted names for the position.

Following recent reports which stated that Freedman has an increased chance of landing the position, due to Ratcliffe taking advice from Sir Alex Ferguson, Steve Parish was asked about the rumours on The Rest Is Football podcast, saying: “You’d have to get inside the minds of those people, wouldn’t you?”

Despite the noise, the 58-year-old does not believe there has been any contact from United for his talented sporting director, whom he held high praise for.

The Crystal Palace co-owner added: “There’s certainly, I don’t think, been any conversations, but it’s very flattering for the club. Totally [clubs get used to interest]. You guys live in the world where 50 per cent of the stories told in the media are true and 50 per cent aren’t, it’s just that we don’t know which ones.

“He’s been really important for us. If you’re going to do this, you’ve got to do it with people that you like to start with as there’s so much pressure sometimes. He’s a brilliant guy. He was the second manager I had at the club and he was instrumental in us getting promoted.

“If you want to watch the Amazon documentary, you will see the whole story about that. He’s been instrumental. He got us promoted and he’s got a real affinity to the club. Dougie works really hard and we’ve signed some really good players.

“Most importantly, with the transfer window, which is probably the hardest part of the job, it’s fun being involved in that and doing all that with him. The fact he’s being linked to clubs like that shows we’re doing the right thing.”