German Erik Stoffelshaus is in contention to become sporting director at Manchester United, Goal understands.
The 48-year-old has been working most recently at Lokomotiv Moscow, where he won a Russian Cup in 2017 before adding the club’s third-ever Russian title in 2018.
It’s believed United have already met with Stoffelshaus on one occasion with a second meeting about the job planned for this week.
Stoffeslhaus announced his departure from Loko on Friday in an Instagram post.
“Dear friends,” he wrote. “After two wonderful years in Moscow, I have decided it is time for something new in my life.
“That's why I give up my position as the sporting director of Lokomotiv Moscow. But not without saying thank you.
“Thank you for a time that will remain in my memory forever. Celebrating the cup victory and the long-awaited third championship with this club - that was something very special.
“And one thing is clear: I‘m leaving as the sporting director, but I will stay as a supporter of this magnificent club. Thanks for everything and see you soon!”
Dear friends, after two wonderful years in Moscow, I decided it was time for something new in my life - that's why I give up my position as the Sporting Director of Lokomotiv Moscow. But not without saying thank you. Thank you for a time that will remain in my memory forever. Celebrating the cup victory and the long-awaited third championship with this club - that was something very special. And one thing is clear: I‘m leaving as the Sporting Director, but I will stay as a supporter of this magnificent club. Thanks for everything and see you soon! Дорогие друзья! После двух замечательных лет в Москве я решил, что настало время для чего-то нового в моей жизни – поэтому я снимаю с себя обязанности спортивного директора «Локомотива». Но не без слов благодарности. Спасибо за время, которое я всегда буду вспоминать с теплотой как в спортивном, так и в бытовом плане. Праздновать вместе с этой командой победу в Кубке России и долгожданный третий титул Чемпиона – это было нечто особенное. И ясно одно: я ухожу как спортивный директор. Но я остаюсь ярым поклонником этого замечательного клуба. Спасибо за все и до скорой встречи! #локомотив #fclokomotiv #рпл #тольколоко #самыйлучшийколлектив
United are believed to have headhunted Stoffelshaus as part of their impending backroom shake-up. He has worked extensively with FC Schalke in the past, overseeing signings like Ivan Rakitic and Jefferson Farfan, before landing in Moscow in January 2017.
Stoffelshaus has a strong contact network in North America, Asia and mainland Europe which is believed to appeal to United.
He is also thought to have an offer from Bundesliga side Hannover 96, whose coach Andre Breitenreiter is known to be an admirer.
In the last year, he has been linked to sporting director posts at Huddersfield Town and West Ham United. Stoffelshaus is also believed to have offers from North America as well as the Russian Football Union.
There is somewhat of an exodus at Lokomotiv at the moment with the club’s director general Ilya Gerkus also announcing his departure on Friday amid friction with first-team coach Yuri Semin.
United are set to undergo a backroom shuffle in 2019 with the introduction of a sporting director for the first time ever. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently the United coach but is expected to return to Norwegian side Molde when the season ends.
At that stage a new era at Old Trafford will commence, with a sporting director coming in over the head of a new incumbent coach.
Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be in the frame for the United coaching job when it becomes available this summer. He worked with sporting director Paul Mitchell at Southampton and again at Spurs before Mitchell joined RB Leipzig.