Manchester United are rumoured to be in talks with former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Antero Henrique, with suggestions that negotiations regarding the Portuguese official joining the Old Trafford club are already at an ‘advanced’ stage.
United have flirted with the concept of a sporting director or director of football for some time, but latterly the idea was thought to have been shelved. That is why the sudden claims about possible talks with Henrique come as something of a surprise.
French outlet Foot Mercato initially reported ‘advanced negotiations’ were taking place. The usually more reliable L’Equipe has now backed up those claims by saying it has now been confirmed to them.
Henrique was PSG sporting director for two years until the start of this season when he was dismissed by the French champions and replaced by former coach Leonardo.
Henrique, who has also formerly worked at Porto in a similar capacity, was at PSG as the club signed both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the summer of 2017 when he was brand new in the job. But there were claims from several sources as early as last January that he was facing the sack over the PSG’s failure to secure the signing of Dutch starlet Frenkie de Jong.
Despite being close to joining PSG, De Jong chose Barcelona instead, while it was also rumored that Henrique was under pressure over a failure to land Lucas Paqueta, who joined AC Milan, and an inability to convince Adrien Rabiot to sign a new contract – the Frenchman is now at Juventus.
Several months later, Henrique was indeed sacked by PSG. Given that three significant failings appear to have led to his dismissal in Paris, it appears strange that United, a club in need of someone to lead and direct a crucial squad overhaul, should turn to him now.
Questions will rightly be asked over whether someone whose most recent track record wasn’t deemed good enough for a top European club should be the man trusted at Old Trafford.