Erik ten Hag knows what he will get from Paolo Maldini amid Manchester United sporting director links – Kyle Newbould

Erik ten Hag arrived at United last year to find a mix-and-match squad high in ego and low in unity. The previous nine years that followed Sir Alex Ferguson&aposs arrival saw a churn of managers, differing in experience and playing-style, each bringing in their own players before moving on.

Most well-run clubs wouldn&apost have allowed such a mismatch of transfer policies to play out but United are not a well-run club. The Glazers have made no palpable impact on the footballing side of things and those in positions of power over the last decade haven&apost done much better.

United have spent more than 1billion since Ferguson&aposs 2013 retirement and have little to show for it, and that is why reports are suggesting John Murtough&aposs job as sporting director is at risk. Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks set to take control of footballing matters imminently, once his 25 per cent stake in the club is ratified.

The INEOS chief is already looking to shake things up, with confirmation coming earlier in the week that chief executive Richard Arnold would leave his role. Murtough seems most likely to follow suit, with Paolo Maldini one of the names linked to replace him.

Best known for his incredible playing career as a defender, Maldini went upstairs at AC Milan in 2018 and was promoted to technical director by 2019. Three years later, the Rossoneri won their first Serie A title for more than a decade.

Throughout his time as technical director, Maldini implemented a clear transfer strategy and was successful with many of his signings. In his first summer, Milan signed Rafael Leao and Theo Hernandez, the following year they got Sandro Tonali and Fikayo Tomori. All young talents. All successful signings.

We have an idea and want to build a young and talented team,” Maldini told Sky Sports Italy in May. “It is risky to sign young players.

Sandro [Tonali] struggled in his first season; the same happened with Charles [De Ketelaere] this year. But this is our idea of football, our idea of investment.

Its a shared view with the owners. If I wanted a stronger line-up I would have made different choices in the market. We have a project which we are developing together. It takes time, knowing that we are Milan.

Maldini&aposs spell as technical director at Milan hasn&apost been perfect, and he was sacked after five years back in June. But a clear and purposeful transfer strategy brought him success in San Siro and it would get him in Ten Hag&aposs good books, should a move to Old Trafford come through.