Former Manchester United head of youth recruitment, Derek Langley, says the club ignored his advice over signing the likes of Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt – who could move next summer for more than £100 million.
‘Players that they turned down? Matthijs de Ligt. We had God knows how many reports on Matthijs de Ligt,’ Derek Langley told the Manchester Evening News. ‘Frenkie de Jong and all these players now are sort of around Europe. Dayot Upamecano, who is now at Red Bull Leipzig, was another.
‘This was one of the reasons why I had a meeting with Ed Woodward, and I told him that I wasn’t convinced with the competency of certain people at the club.
‘I told Ed Woodward quite straight: “If you think I’m going to sit here and just tell you what you want to hear, I’m not that man because I’m going to tell you exactly how I see it”.
‘I think it was possibly part of my downfall as to why seven months down the line I was removed because I wouldn’t tow the line in relation to telling them exactly what I thought.
‘It’s one of them things in football – you come to accept it. Manchester United thanked me for the time I spent there and the players I’d taken in, but ultimately we could have been so much better if people had listened.’