Nicky Butt quits Man Utd role for ‘new challenge’ as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loses key man

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Manchester United have confirmed that Nicky Butt will be leaving his role as head of first-team development with immediate effect after nine years of working in the club’s coaching and development set-up. The club legend says he is keen to pursue a fresh challenge away from Old Trafford.

The long-serving former midfielder is credited by the Red Devils for a significant contribution in the progression of several of the club’s homegrown talents.

Butt worked at the Aon Training Complex to help players from the club’s academy make the step up into the senior squad.

The 46-year-old has helped oversee the development of players such as Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood across his near decade-long stint.

United say Butt worked closely with the trio and also with Axel Tuanzebe and Dean Henderson, with all five players members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team squad.

“Having come through the Academy myself to play almost 400 games for Manchester United, it has been an absolute privilege to come back and work with a new generation of talent making that same journey,” Butt told United’s official website.

“I’m proud of the role everyone on the staff plays in giving our young footballers the best possible chance of fulfilling their potential, and the results are clear to see in the increased number of homegrown players reaching the first team.

“I already know from my playing days how difficult it is to leave Manchester United, but it feels like the right moment for a new professional challenge and I look forward to exploring opportunities that build on the great experiences I’ve had here over the past nine years.”

Solskjaer will be disappointed to lose a staff member of Butt’s experience and influence, but insists he will be warmly welcomed back to the club in the future.

“Nicky will always be a legend of Manchester United as a six-time Premier League winner and, of course, an integral part of our Treble-winning team,” he said.

“That pedigree has made him a great source of guidance and inspiration to our Academy players since he returned to the club.

“We are all going to miss him around the Aon Training Complex but Nicky knows he will always be welcome back.”

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