Manchester United are expected to appoint Tom Keane, the brother of Everton defender Michael and Wigan striker Will, as a replacement outgoing negotiations director Matt Judge.
Judge’s resignation was revealed at the end of April, the latest in a number of high-profile changes within the Old Trafford hierarchy.
Ed Woodward has already been replaced by Richard Arnold, who was promoted from his former role of group managing director, while senior scouting heads Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout have also recently left the club. Meanwhile, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher are only a little over a year into their respective roles as football director and technical director.
Judge, who has been at United since 2012 and has been responsible for transfer and contract negotiations since 2014, did not believe he would be part of new long-term plans for the club.
The Daily Mail has reported that Keane will now take on some of the duties that fell under Judge’s job profile. That will include a ‘significant’ role in negotiating transfers during what is now expected to be a busy period for the club in Erik ten Hag’s first summer as manager.
By trade, Keane is a solicitor for legal firm Brandsmiths. But he is described by the company as having ‘vast experience in the football industry’ and as a ‘trusted advisor and representative for household name players, managers and pundits’.
His experience includes ‘negotiating high value transfers, contracts and endorsement agreements’.
Indeed, Keane is also an FA registered intermediary of New Era Global Sports and may therefore better fit the profile of someone well versed in football, rather than banking, investment and finances.
Listen now to 90min’s Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette. On this week’s show they discuss rumoured interest in Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and Hoffenheim’s David Raum, plus the latest on Frenkie de Jong & Antony.
Keane’s brothers, twins Michael and Will, both started their respective careers in the United academy and were 2011 FA Youth Cup winners alongside Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
Both players made first-team appearances for the club, but neither made the long-term breakthrough. Michael left permanently for Burnley in 2015 after a string of loans and was bought by Everton for a fee potentially rising to £30m just two years later. Will joined Hull in 2016, while he scored 26 goals for Wigan in League One last season.