Woodward refuses to speak about next Manchester United manager

Ed Woodward is unwilling to offer updates on Manchester United's plans for a full-time manager during the season.

Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer   -  Getty Images

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says there will be no updates on the search for a new permanent manager while the season is ongoing.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has enjoyed a strong run since taking over as caretaker boss following Jose Mourinho's dismissal in December, winning 10 and drawing one of his 11 domestic games in charge.

His unbeaten start came to an end in a 2-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but Solskjaer remains a firm candidate to be given the job on a full-time basis.

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be another under consideration, while Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri and former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane have also been linked.

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Woodward praised the work of Solskjaer and his backroom team as United announced record revenues of £208.6million for their second-quarter financial results in 2019 on Thursday.

However, speaking in a conference call with investors, he refused to go into detail about their managerial plans.

"I'm not going to get into [that]," he said. "We communicated around December time around what we were doing, with Ole coming in, and what was happening.

"The next communication will be when we have something to announce regarding the manager. We're not going to give updates part way through."

United is also understood to still be keen to appoint a director of football to work with the next full-time manager, in order to improve the working relationship between the board and the first team.

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Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and RB Leipzig sporting director Paul Mitchell are two of the reported favourites for the new role at Old Trafford.

Woodward, though, insists United's continued investment in the "overall structure" of the club is more important than any one appointment.

"Lots has been written about this," he said. "Looking at our structures and how we should strengthen all areas of the club is something we do on a continual basis.

"We've done a lot of changes in the football side in the last four, five years, particularly in the academy, where we've materially increased investment and we're seeing the quality of that now coming on.
"On the football side, we've invested around the recruitment side, the player-care side, [there is] continued investment with facilities, medical and sports science, so the evolution is continuing.

"It's not necessarily that visible to the outside and, in some respects, you get a multi-year return later on [rather] than an immediate impact. 

"The evolution of the football side is continuing. With regards to the overall structure, we're looking at that and ways we can make it stronger."

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