Mike Phelan wants structural assurances before agreeing to stay on as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 2

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Mike Phelan wants assurances that bloated management structure will be simplified before agreeing to stay on as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 2 at Manchester United

  • Mike Phelan is expected to follow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and sign long-term deal
  • But the 56-year-old wants assurances that bloated structure will be simplified
  • He wants to have a clearer line of communication with the club’s hierarchy 
  • United hope to solve these problems by appointing a new technical director 

Mike Phelan is seeking assurances over the management structure at Manchester United before agreeing to stay as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s No 2.

Phelan is expected to follow Solskjaer by signing a long-term contract at Old Trafford after playing a pivotal role in United’s revival since they returned to the club in December.

But more than a week after the United manager was installed on a permanent basis, Phelan is still considering his position following talks at Carrington on Wednesday.

Mike Phelan is expected to follow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and sign a new long-term deal

Mike Phelan is expected to follow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and sign a new long-term deal 

But the 56-year-old wants assurances that bloated management structure will be simplified

But the 56-year-old wants assurances that bloated management structure will be simplified

It’s understood he has concerns over the convoluted management and recruitment system put in place at United since he left following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

The 56-year-old would prefer a less complicated set-up and wants to establish a clearer line of communication between the coaching team and the Old Trafford hierarchy.

Similarly, Solskjaer has been surprised by United’s bloated recruiting network which has grown to 58 scouts across the world in recent years – a situation that concerned his predecessor Jose Mourinho.

United hope to solve some of these problems by appointing a technical director before the start of next season and Phelan has been discussed as a possible candidate.

Phelan wants to have a clearer line of communication with the Old Trafford hierarchy

Phelan wants to have a clearer line of communication with the Old Trafford hierarchy

He would rather maintain his current close involvement with the first-team but is open to taking on a broader role around Carrington if he decides to stay.

Phelan remains sporting director of Central Coast Mariners and said on a trip to Australia during the international break last week that he is no hurry to cut his ties with the club.

‘It’s all down to ifs and buts right now but I certainly would like to keep my interest at the Mariners,’ he said.

United value the experience and know-how of Ferguson’s former No 2 at a time when the club is undergoing what has been described behind the scenes as ‘a cultural reset’.

Manchester United value the experience and know-how of Sir Alex Ferguson's former No 2

Manchester United value the experience and know-how of Sir Alex Ferguson’s former No 2

Solskjaer and Phelan have been credited with restoring the culture that existed for many years under Ferguson and the technical director is also expected to be someone with links to United.

Solskjaer said at the start of the week that he was optimistic Phelan would agree a contract with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, calling him as a ‘key part of the club’.

He has also told the players that the coaching set-up will remain in place, which means Mark Dempsey, the former United midfielder who was his assistant at Molde and Cardiff, is set to stay after rejoining him at Christmas.

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