PAULO MALDINI is being lined up for a shock move to Manchester United as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's huge shake-up of the club, it's been claimed.
Britain's second richest man is on the verge of acquiring a minority stake in the Red Devils from the Glazer family.
SunSport understands Ratcliffe is set to make sweeping changes to the structure of the club following years of turmoil.
Ratcliffe is keen on appointing a sporting director to assist manager Erik ten Hag in turning around the club's fortunes.
And, according to reports, legendary defender Maldini is on his shortlist of candidates for the role.
That's according to The Telegraph, who claim Maldini's former partner in crime at AC Milan Ricky Massara is also in consideration for the job as well as Atalanta's Lee Congerton and Atletico Madrid's Andrea Berta.
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Both Maldini and Massara are free agents having been given their marching orders by the Rosseneiri in June following a dispute with owner Gerry Cardinale.
Maldini – who is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time – did have success in the role for his former side, playing an instrumental role in signing Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea.
A current Premier League sporting director is also in the running for the job.
Crystal Palace's Dougie Freedman is understood to be one of the standout candidates for the role following his recent success at Selhurst Park.
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And he could be in with a real chance of getting the gig as Sir Alex Ferguson – who Ratcliffe will take advice from during the process – is a big admirer of him.
Freedman's body of work at Selhurst Park speaks for itself, with his signings of Eberechi Eze, Marc Guehi, Michael Olise and loan move Conor Gallagher paying dividends for the Eagles.
Former Red Devils boss Ferguson knows Freedman well having allowed him to spend time with him in his office when he was manager of Palace.
Huge changes to the structure of United are expected once Ratcliffe's acquisition of shares is confirmed.
But the billionaire's restructuring is already taking shape, despite him only having one foot in the door.
Richard Arnold left his role as club CEO, which he inherited from Ed Woodward, this week after ten years of service.
United will be back in action a week on Saturday, travelling to Goodison Park to take on Everton.
And the infrastructure of the club could look very different by the time Ten Hag's troops take to the pitch.
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