<
>

Sources: United's search for tech director goes on

play
Why Man United need to give De Gea the contract he deserves (2:01)

With David De Gea reportedly close to a new Manchester United deal, the FC crew discuss his merits for a big contract and a shot at the captaincy. (2:01)

Manchester United will continue their search for a technical director despite handing Nicky Butt a promotion, sources have told ESPN FC.

Butt has moved from academy head to head of first team development, reporting directly to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and will sit on the technical board.

However, plans are still in place to also appoint a technical director after a search that has already lasted more than six months.

Rio Ferdinand has held talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about the role and Darren Fletcher has been working as a consultant but a formal appointment is yet to be made.

- ESPN fantasy: Sign up now!
- Man United season ruined my holiday - Shaw
- De Gea eager to take Man United captaincy

The club were hopeful of having a technical director in place by the start of the season but sources have told ESPN FC there is now no set time frame to fill the job.

Butt's new role will see him work with Solskjaer to help young players transition from junior football to the first team.

It will include coaching and mentoring for a select group of academy players who the club feel are best placed to make the step up to senior football.

The 44-year-old will not have a direct say in signings and transfer policy will continue to be driven by technical chief scout Mick Court, chief scout Jim Lawlor and head of global scouting Marcel Bout with negotiations handled by Woodward and head of corporate development Matt Judge.

"Manchester United is in my DNA and this is a very proud moment for me as I take this new role," said Butt.

"I am passionate about nurturing, developing and coaching the talent we have here to become top players at this club."

Butt is well placed to help United's youngsters step up to first team football having made the jump himself more than 25 years ago.

The former midfielder was part of the Class of '92 that also included Gary Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes and went on to make 387 appearances for the group between 1992 and 2004, winning six Premier League titles and the Champions League in 1999.

He was appointed head of academy in 2016 and has been credited with the emergence of Marcus Rashford. He was asked to sit on the bench for the final game of the season in 2017 after Jose Mourinho named an inexperienced squad including Scott McTominay, Demetri Mitchell and Angel Gomes.

Gomes is one of four teenagers on this summer's tour of Australia and the Far East along with Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Tahith Chong.

Nick Cox will take over from Butt as head of the academy and will report to head of football development John Murtough.