Skip to content

Jason Wilcox: Manchester United make approach for Southampton director of football

Man Utd approach Southampton over hiring their director of football Jason Wilcox; United want to make the former Blackburn winger their technical director as part of new recruitment team; Saints annoyed at manner and timing of United's approach but United believe they have been respectful

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Jason Wilcox Southampton Director of Football during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton FC at The Hawthorns on February 16, 2024 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Image: Jason Wilcox has been Southampton director of football since last summer

Manchester United have approached Southampton about hiring their director of football Jason Wilcox.

United want to make him their technical director as part of the new recruitment team - and an offer equivalent to a year of his salary has been made.

United believe this meets a buyout clause in his contract - but Southampton are disputing the existence of the clause and are understood to be annoyed at the manner and timing of United's approach.

Who is Jason Wilcox?

  • In his playing career, Wilcox was a winger and won the Premier League title at Blackburn Rovers in 1995.
  • He also played for Leeds and Blackpool and won three England caps before retiring in 2006.
  • Wilcox then worked his way up to the role of academy director during 11 years at Manchester City.
  • The 53-year-old joined Southampton as director of football last summer after the club's relegation to the Championship.

Saints are angered that Wilcox has been unsettled with eight games left as they chase promotion from the Championship, and value him at substantially more in compensation, despite only being at the club for nine months.

United, on the other hand, believe they have been respectful and followed correct processes throughout their pursuit so far, and that it is unrealistic for Southampton to expect a higher sum.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports' Peter Smith and Melissa Reddy discuss Manchester United's woeful performance against Brentford and whether Erik ten Hag has the backing of the board going forward

Southampton are prepared to agree a fee with United but one that reflects that they would be losing him at a crucial stage - but there appears to be an impasse with United currently believing they have met the contractual requirements for his release.

New United chief executive Omar Berrada knows Wilcox well from their time together at Manchester City, where Wilcox worked his way up from coach to academy director during 11 years at the club.

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Brentford and Manchester United

Berrada wants the former winger, who won the Premier League with Blackburn in 1995, to form a crucial part of the new recruitment setup at Old Trafford; to be guided, eventually, by sporting director-elect Dan Ashworth.

The 53-year-old is also the subject of talks over a compensation agreement with Newcastle, who have put him on a substantial period of gardening leave that may yet delay his official start until after the summer transfer window.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports News' Melissa Reddy breaks down exactly why Manchester United are targeting Newcastle's Dan Ashworth as their new potential sporting director

United are also thought to be looking to add someone in a role that is likely to oversee player pathways throughout the INEOS group, which includes clubs Nice in France and Lausanne in Switzerland.

Saints boss Martin: I'll talk to Wilcox

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Ipswich, Southampton boss Russell Martin claims he hasn't been told anything regarding the potential departure of Saints' director of football Jason Wilcox to Manchester United

Southampton manager Russell Martin was asked about Man Utd's approach for Wilcox in his post-match press conference following their 3-2 stoppage-time defeat at Ipswich in the Championship.

"I would say give me at least 10 minutes to get over the disappointment of tonight and we'll chat at some point this week and I'm sure I'll have more for you," Martin said.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship clash between Ipswich and Southampton

"I've not spoken to the club (about it). You know my feelings on Jason, and I'll have a chat with him after.

"I've just had a text saying how proud he was of the performance. The rest is, once I'm told I'll let you know."

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

Sky Sports WhatsApp channel

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here...

Win £1,000,000 with Super 6!
Win £1,000,000 with Super 6!

The Super 6 Rollover hits a whopping £1,000,000! Play for free, entries by 3pm Saturday March 30.

Around Sky