Why Mike Phelan's future at Manchester United is in serious question


Since returning from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Manchester United, the Norwegian has been skillfully assisted by Mike Phelan.

Sir Alex Ferguson's longtime lieutenant, Phelan returned to Old Trafford to assist Solskjaer during his guarding time, offering a high-level voice alongside other coaches such as Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick.

Solskjaer, of course, has already been named permanent manager of the club and is being tasked with bringing the 20 English champions back into contention for the Premier League title.

And he was quick to praise the impact Phelan made on his side.

Speaking earlier this month, Solskjaer said: "He is a key part of the club."

Phelan and Solskjaer in conversation

But while Solskjaer has signed a new contract and Carrick and McKenna are due to sign the extensions in the coming days, Phelan's future at the club is in question, yet he has not signed an agreement to stay.

Phelan, who played for Old Trafford in the early 1990s and spent 15 years alongside Ferguson, is currently second to the Australian side of the Central Coast Mariners, where he serves as the sport's director for the A-League club.

And Mirror Football understands that it is this role he wants to do next season if he wants to return to Manchester full time.

United's executive vice president Ed Woodward continues to seek the club for a football director as club bosses continue to be criticized for not having "football men" near the boardroom.

Woodward has decisions to make

At the last count, United has 26 global partners, from sportswear giant Adidas to Mlily, the official official partner of the club's mattresses and pillows, but they have struggled to follow rivals on the pitch and their transfer strategy is under fire.

Phelan believes he can help improve the recruiting strategy of club players and also more connections between the club's first team and academy – something that Solskjaer also likes.

Ajax's success this season, with the Dutch giants having reached the Champions League semifinals while attending the Eredivisie and the Dutch Cup, offers a potential for Phelan's hopes considering that they were built around signatures intelligent young stars and employees who know the club from the inside out.

The heads of the United States have been in touch with the Australian side to keep Phelan and want him to remain.

But if Woodward is unwilling to agree with Phelan, then Solskjaer may lose an important ally before his first full season in command.

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