Who is Jason Wilcox? The Manchester United target who used to work for Manchester City

Jason Wilcox is Southampton’s director of football  (Getty Images)
Jason Wilcox is Southampton’s director of football (Getty Images)

Manchester United continue to make changes off-the-field, with Jason Wilcox, currently Southampton’s director of football, the latest individual linked to a role.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to complete his minority investement into the club and has already taken control of footballing affairs, with Omar Berrada joining as chief executive at the end of the season.

Berrada arrives from cross-town rivals Manchester City, where the Spaniard has served chief football operations officer, while Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth also appears likely to join the Old Trafford club.

Wilcox worked alongside Berrada at Manchester City and could reunite with the executive.

The Bolton-born 52-year-old enjoyed a productive career as a player, winning three England caps and being an integral part of the Premier League-winning Blackburn side in the 1994/95 season.

The former winger concluded his playing career in 2006, joining Manchester City as an academy coach six years later.

During his time as head coach of the club’s men’s Under 18s, Wilcox oversaw a national championship victory and two FA Youth Cup final appearances, helping the club become one of the best regarded youth set-ups in England. He was appointed to the role of academy director in October 2017 having fulfilled the brief on an interim basis since June.

Jason Wilcox spent more than a decade at Manchester City (Getty Images)
Jason Wilcox spent more than a decade at Manchester City (Getty Images)

His time in Manchester ended last January when Southampton lured Wilcox south as the club’s new director of football.

He took up the role in the summer after serving his notice period, leading the Championship side’s football department and also taking on player recruitment responsibilities.

A black belt in judo, Wilcox explained after taking the role at St Mary’s that “alignment” was key to building a successful football club.

“I’ve not come here trying to bring Manchester City down south,” the director of football said in an interview with Southampton’s club website. “That’s not what I’m going to do.

“My job is to come in and make sure we’ve got alignment where the first team manager plays a certain way, the academy teams play a certain way and then we can transition creating this pathway for the younger players. That’s what I’m here to do. I think when you don’t have alignment and you have inconsistency of work, it takes you a lot longer to get there and you’re being reactive all the time.

“I’ve been brought now for the last 12 years on a complete alignment from top to bottom, from the board to the director of football, to the first team manager and to the academy director.

“And then when you get that alignment of thinking and you understand profiles of players, you understand what’s happening on the pitch, you can build and you can grow and even when you’re losing football matches, you can actually understand where you’re going wrong or when you win football matches, you can understand what you’re doing really well and have clear measures. And that’s something that I’m looking to implement.”