Manchester United undergo recruitment shake-up as two senior scouts leave Old Trafford

Old Trafford, Manchester United’s home ground

Two of the most senior figures in Manchester United’s recruitment department are set to step down from their roles in a major shake-up of the club’s scouting operations.

Chief scout Jim Lawlor, who first joined United under Sir Alex Ferguson, will leave his position this summer after 16 years at Old Trafford.

Head of global scouting Marcel Bout has already stepped down from a role he has occupied since 2016, having first arrived as part of Louis van Gaal’s coaching staff.

A club statement read: “Jim Lawlor has decided to step down from his role as chief scout in the summer after 16 years with the club.

“During that time, Jim played a key role in the development of multiple trophy-winning Manchester United teams and was an important source of guidance to Sir Alex Ferguson and each of the managers who have followed him.

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“Jim leaves the club with our warmest thanks for his significant contribution and our very best wishes for the future.

“Marcel Bout has departed from his role as head of global scouting after eight years with the club.

“A respected figure within and outside of Manchester United, Marcel has played an important part as an assistant coach and in the strengthening of our scouting capabilities in recent years.

“Marcel leaves the club with our warmest thanks for his significant contribution and our very best wishes for the future.”

Marcel Bout, left, with former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

United’s recruitment has come in for persistent criticism since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 despite attempts to overhaul their scouting network.

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A major internal restructuring last year saw John Murtough appointed to the newly-established position of football director, with responsibility for Old Trafford’s football operations.

The departures of Lawlor and Bout come as Erik ten Hag prepares to be appointed as United’s new permanent manager, replacing interim Ralf Rangnick and succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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