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Manchester United looking to steal Marcel Brands?

| Sunday, 22 November 2020 45comments  |  Jump to last

An article in The Mail claims that Manchester United are lining up Everton's Marcel Brands to be their first Director of Football.

Brands is credited with the successful recruitment of midfield trio Allan, Doucouré and Rodriguez, and this feat, combined with his Everton contract coming up for renewal next year, seems to have encouraged speculation among the tabloids.

But there is no consideration given to the fact that Marcel Brands is a director on the Board of Everton Football Club, and may indeed be committed to a longer-term involvement in matters Blue, with Carlo Ancelotti as manager challenged with building a side to compete with the likes of Manchester United and other members of the Big Six at the top end of the Premier League.

Reader Comments (45)

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Francis van Lierop
1 Posted 22/11/2020 at 09:45:17
I for one hope not.
Another fact which most people won't know, those in charge at Ajax, the general director Edwin van der Sar, and director of football, Marc Overmars (the counterpart of Marcel Brands) feel that Ajax is getting too small for them. It's no secret that things have been run better at manure, where Van der Sar has played, and where they would like to see their ambitions furthured.
Dave Williams
2 Posted 22/11/2020 at 10:26:22
I wouldn’t pay much heed to the paper article as it also mentions Steve Walsh as a possible target!!
File under “ overactive imagination” or “ pure bollocks”!
Robert Tressell
3 Posted 22/11/2020 at 10:41:09
It is possible. Brands has a good reputation. I'm a bit underwhelmed by where we are with him but I'd like the club to stick with him. In my view he's about the only person in management that knows what he's doing. The iffy situation we're in is more an indictment on the likes of Moshiri, Kenwright, Silva + the appalling legacy of Koeman / Walsh.
Derek Knox
4 Posted 22/11/2020 at 10:53:30
I agree with Dave @2 that it is probably a load of tosh, but there is always the ' no smoke without fire theory ' smoldering in the background.

I remember Marcel Brands who only joined in 2018, did say it could possibly be a 5 year project, with all the mistakes that had gone on before. Simple arithmetic, would dictate that he has 3 years left.

Personally, I like the guy, and although he has made a couple of (seemingly) bloopers in the Transfer Market, on the whole his successes are outweighing his failures.

The added fact that he he is working alongside Carlo, and I believe they have a good working relationship, plus the new Stadium project, I can't see him even considering moving elsewhere no matter how attractive it appeared to be, 'The Devil You Know ' and all that.

Thomas James
5 Posted 22/11/2020 at 10:56:36
This might be rubbish, but to be honest it’s not beyond the realm of possibility though, is it. He has a good reputation in football and United have little direction and vastly bigger resources. It would present a bigger challenge for him, for sure and if delivered would further enhance his reputation.

I for one hope this isn’t true as recruiting players and removing rubbish has tended to be much more effective under his guidance. And, perception is that he works well with Ancelotti their vision on quality is joined up.

Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 22/11/2020 at 11:50:41
I would hope that Mr Moshiri has asked Mr Brands for his side of the story. Until then it's all tomorrows chip wrapper.
Ian Riley
7 Posted 22/11/2020 at 13:11:07
When is Mr Brands's contract up??
Harry Williams
8 Posted 22/11/2020 at 15:57:57
Brands for Man U?
What a complete joke, absolutely no chance, he’s been a disaster for us, who has he signed?
Ancelotti brought Doucouré, James, Allan etc and Silva brought in Richarlison.
In my opinion those signings he has been directly involved with have been poor!!
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 22/11/2020 at 16:14:44
Last I saw we were leaving it until the new year to start renegotiating his contract which is up in July 2021 I think. No reason to think both sides don’t want it to happen, and we could certainly do with a long period of stability in the club with Carlo and Brands at the helm.
Tony Twist
10 Posted 22/11/2020 at 17:42:40
I hope this is paper nonsense. I just feel that continuity is what we really need now. I also am underwhelmed by what seem to be players purchased by Brands (sorry I don't believe James, Allan, Richarleson and possibly Doucoure are Brands purchases) but I trust Brands to not bankrupt us whereas Ancelotti I suspect would.
Barry Rathbone
11 Posted 22/11/2020 at 18:28:14
Brands hasn't long left on his contract so this is likely a planted story to force Moshiri's hand. Question is does Mosh want to keep him?
Danny Broderick
12 Posted 23/11/2020 at 00:05:42
Load of bollocks. The article says Man Utd are considering Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands! Who in their right mind would have looked at the recruitment we've done under Walsh and Brands and thought ‘Wow! Let's snap one of those 2 up!'

It's not gonna happen.

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 23/11/2020 at 00:18:07
I'm not overly bothered if he stays or goes. If he goes, I hope he takes the whole DoF concept with him.

If he stays, then sometimes a degree of continuity is not the worst thing.

Derek Knox
14 Posted 23/11/2020 at 01:20:14
Slightly off topic, but it does involve Man Utd and a possible transfer, possibly a loan deal with an option. The player I am referring to is Daniel James.

Now this kid is electric from what I have seen of him both at United and previously Swansea, but seemingly can't get a game at United and is getting a bit frustrated by it.

Apparently we were very close to getting him from Swansea but he chose, or was persuaded towards Man Utd, which he retrospectively regrets.

I really like him, and not only in looks but also in style of play reminds me of another player we got from them, Andrei Kanchelskis!

What a player he was, and if Dan is even half as good, we can't go wrong. Let's hope there is some mileage in this.

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 23/11/2020 at 03:48:32
Derek Knox

I'll admit I haven't watched a lot of James in action, but his stats worry me. I was surprised Utd moved for him based on his goals/assists per game stats at Swansea and his numbers at Man Utd don't really help his cause. To me, he seems like a kid who is very fast but not very good.

But, as I say, I haven't watched him much so I'm relying on stats which can be misleading. A recommendation coming from you, I take more seriously than most. So I'll keep an eye on him going forward to see if he has that Andrei magic.

Bjorn-Ivar Pedersen
16 Posted 23/11/2020 at 05:35:55
When Marcel Brands arrived, he signed some player who was very useful for us at the time, cos the squad at that time didn't raise the bar too high.

Bernard on a free? I would say a good signing. Gomes got a new spring with us, not a bad player. Iwobi, well he is still kind of a kinder egg, you'll never know what you get from one game to the next. Digne is a player I have known about and followed sporadically since he was 19 years old. I always thought he must be the perfect replacement for Baines, but I thought he was too big of a talent to sign for Everton.

When considering what we paid for our midfield three this summer, that tells at least me that Brands is a genius when it comes to making a bargain deal. The club has actually evolved in the last couple of years, so the players Brands first brought in are not necessarily what we need today, but still they will be useful squad players.

I like the idea of bringing in young talent, and letting them grow into great players, like Brands thinks, someone like Niels Nkounkou (the kiddo from Marseille). But I also love having Ancelotti as manager, but there you have two philosophies that crash.

Carlo is not here with us to run a farmer club; he has come to win trophies. So therefore we need to get the kind of players we saw coming this summer. James and Allan are exactly what we need to win things. Together with young players like Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Our problem is the right side: we need to bring in two players that can do the same as our left side, and we are in a desperate need of a new goalie.

So, if we get three quality players in next summer, then I feel we are ready to challenge for a top four spot. And if I got a chance to give Carlo a advice, it would be, give the young players more game time, like Gordon and Nkounkou, even Davis.

To conclude, we can never allow Brands to leave – that will bankrupt us – if we have ambitions of winning things.

Steve Shave
17 Posted 23/11/2020 at 07:47:57
I for one would be sorry to see this happen if it did; I think it is probably paper bollocks, however.

I agree with comments above, his record for us has been patchy but we must consider club dynamics and his relationship with a manager who really wants a player; it's a balancing act of politics, no doubt. I think he will see the project through to the new stadium.

I am curious why Mosh has not extended his contract already. He is a classy guy who can seemingly pull off the odd blinder in the market.

What I would like to see from Marcel is a first-team ready bargain; they do exist... a real diamond (like Lamptey at Brighton for example) who doesn't cost the earth but improves us.

I would piss myself if Man Utd went for Walsh, I still feel anger towards that period of our recent history, the staggering incompetence (Gana aside) has hamstrung our development big time.

James Brand
18 Posted 23/11/2020 at 09:28:04
Absolute rubbish!!! Allan and Rodriguez came because of Carlo and nobody else...! They would have come even if Bill was still doing the negotiating...!

My namesake was the one who signed Iwobi for close to £30M!! DoF is a modern football vital cog, fair enough, but if Brands left, he would be replaced. Move on. Next.

Sam Hoare
19 Posted 23/11/2020 at 10:46:45
I was so excited when Brands came. Mainly because he wasn't Steve Walsh! I think he has always conducted himself very well and comes across as intelligent and capable but his actualy transfer business is a mixed bag indeed.

It's difficult to judge a DOF without knowing how much influence he had over every decision. For example if we are to say that Richarlison was Silva's signing do we also say that Iwobi was Silva demanding a winger last minute?

If Brands leaves then someone else comes in. There are lots of talented DOFs out there. Steve Walsh is not on of them, he was a (talented) head scout not suitable to oversee the spending of vast quantities and his appointment is probably the worst decision this club has made in the last 6 years and set us back at a time where our improved finances should have moved us forwards.

John Raftery
20 Posted 23/11/2020 at 15:39:24
Owing to the shambolic recruitment in 2017 Brands inherited a mess of a squad. Has the squad improved under his watch? I would argue it has but we are still some way from having enough strength in depth to make a sustained bid for the top four or silverware.

So after two and a half years his job is arguably just about half done. If he continues at the same rate of progress we have a chance of getting to where we all want to be by 2023, five years after his arrival.

He would do well to steer clear of Manchester United, a club which appears always to be looking for its next scapegoat.

Derek Moore
21 Posted 24/11/2020 at 14:37:19
The Brands era has been hugely underwhelming. The idea there'd be some sort of bidding war for him is one I find highly amusing. The likely fantasy that the "other" party is Man Utd only adds to the humour.

If Brands wishes to work for the Glazer children for marginally more money, then more fool him. The perception of the Man Utd brand is as different to reality as it's possible to be, something Brands will soon find out if he's daft enough to work there.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 24/11/2020 at 16:19:55
As others have said, Brands is still not quite mid-way through his 5-year plan. We tend to judge him by his ability to unearth gems (I find myself doing this anyway). But in reality his job is more:

- reduce playing staff and wage bill (deadwood)

- reduce age of playing staff

- conclude deals for specific individuals (Rodriguez and Allan) at good prices

- conclude deals for types of players identified as needed by the manager (eg, Doucouré)

- sort out academy structure / provide route to first team for young talent

On those measures, I think he's done okay. Still a work in progress of course but certainly moving in the right direction. And you can see why Man Utd might want something along those lines too.

Chris Williams
23 Posted 24/11/2020 at 16:35:03

I think his contract is up the end of this season.

Robert Tressell
24 Posted 24/11/2020 at 17:20:24
Chris @23. Yes his contract is up but his plan is not yet done. A lot of the plan will unfold from Summer 2021 when we finally get rid of the crap on long contracts.
Chris Williams
25 Posted 24/11/2020 at 17:30:28

Provided he gets offered an extension and accepts it.

Other clubs, like Juventus, might be interested, but of course that may be just journalistic rubbish too.

He and Carlo work well together, apparently, so no reason to leave unless he gets an offer he can't refuse.

Kenny Smith
26 Posted 24/11/2020 at 20:12:36
I think the fact there has been 25 comments on this thread in 2 days speaks volumes about what the vast majority of Evertonians think about him.

He's been nothing short of underwhelming for us. Maybe he's just come at the wrong time or is he just not the well-connected mastermind he was sold to us as being. I'm not fussed if he moves on, to be honest.

Hugh Jenkins
27 Posted 25/11/2020 at 08:52:45
The fact that he was offered and accepted a Directorship at the club I believe speaks volumes about how he is perceived by Moshri and how Brands views the Club.

As a Director, his contract is a "Director's service contract" and will probably allow for continuity of service whilst having key dates for reviews of performance and remuneration etc.

Consequently, I don't believe that there is a prospect of him leaving in July 2021 nor of him "jumping ship" to go to Old Trafford.

The negotiations taking place in January are more likely to revolve around what has been achieved since he arrived, and what the plan and budget going forward are likely to be.

The remuneration package will, I expect, also be set at a basic salary with bonuses on achieved targets – as already mentioned by some – eg, reducing the average age of the playing staff generally, disposing of earmarked players as early as possible etc, and, no doubt, a bonus depending on where we finish in the league and cups etc.

Erik Dols
28 Posted 25/11/2020 at 10:29:57
I find it funny that people see recruitment as a one-man job – Ancelotti got James, Allan and Doucoure, but Brands got Iwobi. Of course the world is not black and white.

Of course James wouldn't have joined if Ancelotti didn't manage Everton. But Brands still will have played a role in the recruitment. And the same goes for other deals – the Iwobi deal will have been discussed with Silva, it's not like Brands pushes through while Silva doesn't want the player at all.

And I want to make the case in the Richarlison deal especially. People keep saying that is a 100% Silva deal. Yes, Richarlison and Silva knew and appreciated each other. But, before Richarlison went to Watford, he was widely mentioned in the Dutch press and was on Brands's radar already, as Director of Football at PSV.

I don't think Everton will fall apart without Brands and I am still waiting for some real gems, some real finds. But it is a bit rich to attribute every successful transfer to the manager and every less successful transfer to Brands.

Hugh Jenkins
29 Posted 25/11/2020 at 13:19:52
Eric (28),

I think that the young French left-back we signed in the last window is a potential "gem", as is Branthwaite.

Hopefully there will be many more to follow.

Alan J Thompson
30 Posted 25/11/2020 at 13:54:21
Why do the majority see Mr Brands's job as mostly signing players when we seem to have as many who are referred to as "deadwood" and in renewing and improving contracts in negotiation with agents, the sort of distraction a manager could do without?

I would imagine that he would be involved in all transfers, that is in and out, and would confer with the manager on players on both men's radar while Mr Brands would also be able to take the initiative on promising young players seen as possible future first-team squad players.

And then there are the niceties of budgets and Uefa and Fifa regulations. A little more than seems to meet the eye.

Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 25/11/2020 at 13:58:54
Oh, and I forgot to mention Brexit... although that may need including some legal advice.
Kevin Dyer
32 Posted 26/11/2020 at 10:18:30
Off-topic but watched the two RB Leipzig games against PSG and think we should be looking seriously at Marcel Sabitzer. Contact expires in 19 months, stalling on signing an extension, 26, considered a right winger but playing a lot of centre midfield over the past year and looks a natural there to me.

Controlled midfield vs PSG, technically excellent, calm and composed, great range of passing, can shoot, good off the ball, always open for a pass, has a bit of pace, helps out defensively (di Maria dived for the pen) - looks a complete high-level midfielder to me.

Latest reports linking him to a bunch of clubs are quoting only €30M, which would be an absolute bargain. Would upgrade our midfield enormously.


Sam Hoare
33 Posted 26/11/2020 at 12:25:27
Kevin, yes I like Sabitzer a lot. He was especially good last season. He would be an excellent candidate to fill that third midfield slot potentially; pretty complete player who brings work rate but also goals and assists.

Sadly I strongly suspect that if/when he leaves Leipzig it will be for bigger club than us. The likes of Bayern and Man Utd have been linked with him already.

I also like Laimer from them, who's a more defensive player but is an absolute Duracell bunny and perhaps a bit more under the radar. He could play any of the midfield slots and offer something. Nkounkou is decent too, basically Leipzig are a pretty good team with excellent scouting department!

Robert Tressell
34 Posted 26/11/2020 at 12:30:18
Kevin, we should show interest in Sabitzer but unfortunately he'll have plenty of offers from Champions League clubs (esp Italy and Germany, being adjacent to Austria). We need to be identifying the next Sabitzer really. Or players like him who have made the step up but can't get a game.
Kevin Dyer
35 Posted 26/11/2020 at 19:31:05
Sam and Robert - yes, basically I think I'd have any of their midfielders! Haidara is good also and the lad Nkounkou.

And yes, Sabitzer likely will go to a major Champions League club, sadly. Who knows if the Carlo Factor could work its magic though, eh?!

Patrick McFarlane
36 Posted 26/11/2020 at 19:40:52
'This is Footbal' website are reporting that David Ornstein says there are suggestions of tension twixt Marcel Brands and Everton FC owner Farhad Moshiri:

Ornstein said: “There has been a lot of talk about Marcel Brands and Manchester United, Marcel Brands and other clubs, and that’s because he’s built a decent reputation as a director of football over the years and he’s out of contract at Everton next summer.

“There’s been no news on what’s going to happen, but in terms of this proposed United role, I’m not sure it’s a great fit because he has been so heavily involved in recruitment over the years now at Everton and previously at PSV Eindhoven.

“As for Everton, I’m told he’s incredibly close to Carlo Ancelotti, he really likes the project at Goodison Park, but I think there has been some tension with the owner, Farhad Moshiri, and a lot of speculation over how heavily involved each man is in each transfer the club has conducted, so there is some uncertainty there.”

Patrick McFarlane
37 Posted 29/11/2020 at 19:55:09
Whether Brands receives a new contract or not, Everton FC is changing the scouting team as revealed by the Echo.

A restructure of the Blues' recruitment department is on-going – and a number of new roles are still to be filled – but the club's revised team is beginning to take shape.

Everton have created seven new roles for talent-spotters to focus on identifying targets between the under-13s and under-18s level while the club have reduced the number of senior scouts covering Europe's main leagues.

The Steve Walsh-appointed Carlo Jacomuzzi, previously the club's scout in Italy, has now left the club after the end of his contract, while Ricardo Figueiredo – brought to Everton during Marco Silva's reign – was Everton's man on the ground in Portugal but has also departed.

And in their place, the Blues's Euro scouting team, at this stage, is:
Jamie Hoyland – Senior European Scout (Holland, Belgium and Germany)
Nathan Fisher – Senior European Scout (Spain, Portugal and Italy)
Michel Rablat – International Scout (France)
Habib Bamogo – International Scout (France)

Scouting Shake Up

Simon Dalzell
38 Posted 01/12/2020 at 16:53:11
They can have him. He's been poor. £33 million for Iwobi is a sacking offence.
Alan J Thompson
39 Posted 02/12/2020 at 02:53:05
Given that a points system will be introduced for European players to qualify to be able to sign for Premier League clubs from 1st January, will there also be eligibility criteria for administrators and managers and will this mean more knowledge and greater scrutiny of the local scene?

It appears that all clubs will have to pay more attention to their juniors and Academies, particularly the homegrown variety, as restrictions are also put on the numbers of non-British juniors.

Robert Tressell
40 Posted 02/12/2020 at 07:23:08
Patrick & Alan, curious shake-up of scouting network. And we have the issue that import of EU youngsters could potentially become more difficult – at the same time as our ban on acquiring UK youngsters is lifted.

Interestingly, there's a player for Angers in France, Mohamed Ali-Cho, who is getting games age 16 in the top flight. He's a winger and he was on our books until age 14. I doubt he'd be getting close to the first team for us.

Personally I don't really like dragging teenagers around the world to play in academies. It's bad enough at national level, especially when so few make it.

But maybe that's the plan.

Alan J Thompson
41 Posted 02/12/2020 at 16:34:31
Robert (#40),

I believe there will be a limit and age qualification on the number of youngsters that can be signed from outside of Britain. But quite how that works if a family moves to the UK, I don't know.

Justin Doone
42 Posted 03/12/2020 at 10:35:48
Brands's general role is like judging the foundations of a building. It mostly goes unnoticed unless it's unfit for purpose.

It will take several years for the young players to prove themselves and, until then, we hope the rest of the plans don't change too much.

Sadly, Everton's plans (managers, players, coaches) are for ever changing, leaving some of the recently acquired players unwanted.

We need stability. If we get another 2 or 3 years without too much disruption, we can judge fairly.

But football is an instant results-driven business. The fact he was made a board member so soon shows a lot of faith or misguided gamble. He talks sense but I think Moise Kean is a good example of his input.

A young talent with sell-on potential but not actually suited to the manager's playing style or perhaps the league. He's loaned too and plays for PSG but, from what I've seen of him, contributes very little.

We could make money on him, but I don't think we'll make a player out of him. Is/was he worth the gamble? Probably... just about. Which sums up Brands for me.

What we actually need is a deputy Brands. Someone to learn from him, get his contacts and can step into his shoes. Or lure an Ancelotti type respected ex-football manager as our next DOF.

Paul A Smith
43 Posted 08/12/2020 at 10:15:42
Lets hope United take him.
Lets see how they feel buying Delph and Iwobi.
Lets see how they feel when he talks about how desperate he is to see talent come through, just before a transfer window.

Lets see them go all soppy when he gives Greenwoods Ma a team shirt with Mace on the back.

I reckon i'd miss a decent player more than any director of football.

Ken Kneale
44 Posted 08/12/2020 at 20:10:10
I doubt he will be missed at all - he has certainly failed to live up to billing in my eyes and several of his purchases are no different to Steve Walsh before him. He is also a director of the club yet seems to offer little direction - a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.
Daniel A Johnson
45 Posted 12/12/2020 at 11:19:10
Adios Marcel Brands.

At the moment make no mistake Don Carlo is pulling the transfer strings not Brands. The signings of Allan and James Rodriguez prove that.

Also lets not forget Brands threw Silva under the bus with that transfer window of Delph, Iwobi and Gbamin which led to his sacking.

If he was to walk I 100% don't think we will miss him.

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