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19th May 2019

Manchester United eyeing up Ireland underage defender

Jack O'Toole

Manchester United are reportedly keen on signing Stoke City and Republic of Ireland underage international Nathan Collins.

Collins made three appearances for Stoke this season but comes on the apparent recommendation of former Manchester United and Stoke midfielder Darren Fletcher.

Collins has previously represented Ireland at U17 level and came through Stoke City’s academy after starting his football career with Dublin’s Cherry Orchard.

Meanwhile Fletcher is one of the names rumoured with taking over as a Director of Football at United with Rio Ferdinand and former Spurs recruitment chief Paul Mitchell also touted for the role.

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has also put his name in the mix and insists that the club can’t just assign the position to a candidate solely based on the fact that they have played for the club.

Writing in his blog for Betfair, Berbatov noted:

“I’m curious to see which players come to United and while we can speculate Ole is in charge and hopefully the new recruits will be the right player for the team, not just to please the fans.

“After Rio Ferdinand last week, Darren Fletcher is the latest name linked with the Director of Football role but why not Dimitar Berbatov? I have the degree in Sports Management (as well as coaching badges) for starters.

“This is an important position, you are the link between the manager and the team and directors. United have to find someone who can do this the right way.

“I know about the job, how it is performed and it’s on my mind but you need to be ready for this. You can’t expect to be given this role purely because you are an ex-player and United will make a mistake if they recruit solely on that basis.”