Friday 12 April 2019 11:06, UK
Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are locked in a three-way fight to tempt RB Leipzig’s top talent spotter Paul Mitchell to become their new sporting director.
However, Sky Sports News has learnt that the three Premier League giants may be forced to look elsewhere if the former Southampton and Tottenham head of recruitment chooses to sign a lucrative new deal, keeping him at Leipzig until 2025.
The latest RB offer, which will see Mitchell take on increased responsibilities as the club's 'head of global football', would likely see him taking over the managerial reins at the club before that contract expires.
The 38-year old, from the Denton suburb of Manchester, is credited with unearthing talents including Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle at Southampton - and Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier when reunited with Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs.
This summer, RB manager Ralf Rangnick gives way to the highly-rated Julian Nagelsmann - who has made it clear to the club's board that keeping Mitchell must be a priority.
His burgeoning reputation - as a skilled coach as well as recruiter - has not gone unnoticed by Leipzig's Bundesliga rivals. Jochen Schneider, Mitchell's former colleague at RB, joined Schalke last month as head of sport - and is understood to be keen on luring him to the Veltins Arena. Borussia Monchengladbach are also known to be interested.
To date Mitchell has recruited Nordi Mukiele (Montpellier), Matheus Cunha (FC Sion) and Marcelo Saracchi (River Plate) - along with Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls) and Amadou Haidara (Red Bull Salzburg), spending around £35m on assets which would now sell for more than double RB's investment.
The board at Old Trafford have confirmed they hope to appoint a technical director before the start of next season; Arsenal are presently recruiting a replacement for recently-departed Sven Mislintat and Chelsea are yet to replace Michael Emenalo following his departure in November 2017. In particular, Chelsea's forthcoming year-long transfer ban, increases the need for a coach, able to develop their crop of young talent.
Mitchell will now decide whether to see out his present contract, sign up for a further five years - or return to the Premier League before the end of June.