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Jason Wilcox’s record signing at Southampton is exciting winger Man Utd battled Erik ten Hag for

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Manchester United are pushing to complete the hire of Jason Wilcox from Southampton.

Jason Wilcox looks set to be appointed at Manchester United as the club’s new technical director.

Wilcox would replace Darren Fletcher, who will move aside into a position more befitting his actual role as a link between the first team and academy.

The former Manchester City academy chief will provide a key bridge for the club until Dan Ashworth is finally able to join, with Ineos embarking on a big restructure behind the scenes.

  • READ MORE: Who are INEOS? Exploring Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s billion-pound business

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Jason Wilcox was hired by Southampton in January 2023 as their director of football. He has had one summer transfer window to work with.

His record signing at the Saints actually came on deadline day in his first window, when he signed off the deal to sign winger Kamaldeen Sulemana for £25 million.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Manchester United were interested in signing Sulemana in 2021, when the team were embroiled in a battle to sign the speedster with Erik ten Hag‘s Ajax, per De Telegraaf.

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Sulemana ended up moving to neither, landing with French side Rennes, having made his name with Danish side Nordsjælland.

His high potential saw him make the move to Southampton last year, with the Saints seeing him as a big investment for their future.

He impressed by scoring a brace for Southampton in a 4-4 Premier League draw against Liverpool.

Sulemana has subsequently had a difficult time at the Saints, impacted by injuries, but he recently earned praise from manager Russell Martin, who told The Echo: “The way he’s trained over the last month or two has been outstanding.”

What the move shows is that Wilcox is willing to gamble on young players with high potential. Sulemana is still only 22. His track record of developing youth at City indicates he will have more hits than misses.

  • READ MORE: Who is Jason Wilcox? Meet the latest potential Ineos recruit pushing for Old Trafford move

Notable signings Jason Wilcox made for Southampton

Jason Wilcox was active in the transfer market last summer for Southampton and this past January. Here is a look at some of the notable deals he secured for the Championship promotion hopefuls.

Shea Charles: Southampton raided Manchester City’s academy to sign the defensive midfielder for £10.5 million. He has made 33 appearances in all competitions this season.

Ross Stewart: The Saints signed Sunderland goalscorer Ross Stewart for £8 million, after the striker scored 36 goals in two seasons for the Black Cats.

Ryan Manning: This was a shrewd deal to sign the 27-year-old full-back on a free transfer, after three years with Swansea City. He has made 26 starts this season.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis: Wilcox turned to City’s academy once again, signing Taylor Harwood-Bellis on a season long loan. The England under-21 international captain has made 35 appearances so far.

Ussamane Djalo: This was a creative loan deal on deadline day, with Southampton signing the Porto prospect until the end of the season. The Portuguese under-19 international midfielder is playing for the Saints’ under-21 side.

These deals worked within Southampton’s more limited budget and appeal as a Championship side, with Wilcox turning to his former connections at City, and also unafraid to sign experienced players within the division, and pay where necessary.

The recent deal for Djalo is an interesting one, with Wilcox looking abroad for top young talent to try and get him into the Saints’ pathway and engineer a potential future deal.

Jason Wilcox record sale at Southampton

The biggest deal of Jason Wilcox’s tenure at Southampton was the sale of Romeo Lavia to Chelsea for a fee of £58 million.

The defensive midfielder was a player who Wilcox helped to develop in the Manchester City academy, before the Saints signed him prior to his own arrival.

Southampton’s relegation meant it was time to cash in, landing a staggering fee following a bidding war between Chelsea and Liverpool.

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