Butt leaves Man Utd to pursue ‘new challenge’

Nicky Butt has left his role as head of first team development at Manchester United.

Butt, who made 387 appearances as a player at Old Trafford and has also previously been head of the academy, said he is leaving to pursue “a new professional challenge.”

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“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 said.

“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.”

After ending his playing career in 2011, Butt he took over as head of United’s academy in February 2016. In July 2019, he took on the newly created role of head of first-team development to help ease the pathway for youngsters into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s senior squad.

“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,” Solskjaer 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.”