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United director of football Murtough leaves club

Old Trafford Old Trafford - The Canadian Press

John Murtough's time at Manchester United is over.

The Red Devils announced Tuesday that the 53-year-old Murtough, who had been serving as the director of football, was departing the club.

"We want to thank John for his loyal service over many years, and for his support and integrity during this period of transition," Red Devils co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said in a statement. "He leaves with our best wishes for the future."

Murtough had joined the club in 2013 from Everton and served in a variety of roles over the past decade-plus.

His departure comes in the midst of a major shakeup in the United setup following the official arrival of Ratcliffe as co-owner in December. Ratcliffe's INEOS group purchased 25 per cent of the club, as well as controlling interest in footballing operations, from the Glazer family.

 Murtough's role is expected to be assumed in the coming months by Dan Ashworth, the sporting director at Newcastle who is currently on gardening leave, and Jason Wilcox, who is expected to be named technical director once his departure from Southampton is finalized. United has yet to agree to compensation packages with the Magpies and Saints for Ashworth and Wilcox's respective releases.

Omar Berrada was named United's new chief football operations officer in January, but is still completing his gardening leave as part of his departure from Manchester City.