Manchester United

Nicky Butt Leaves Role as Manchester United's Head of First-Team Development to Pursue 'New Challenge'

Nicky Butt has quit his position as head of first-team development at Old Trafford
Nicky Butt has quit his position as head of first-team development at Old Trafford / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United have confirmed that Nicky Butt will be stepping down as head of first-team development after holding various coaching and development roles for nine years Old Trafford.

The former Red Devil had been responsible for the development of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, but has now decided to leave the club in search of a 'new challenge'.

In a statement on their official website, United said: "He leaves the club with the warmest best wishes of everyone at Manchester United and our thanks for his important contribution to nurturing a succession of homegrown players who have made it to the first team during his time at the Aon Training Complex.

"He has also played a key role in bringing in a new generation of talented staff and leaders to take the Academy forwards. Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood are among those that Nicky has worked closely with during a period when our Academy has renewed its reputation as one of the most productive in world football."

Thanking the club for his time, Butt said: "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.

"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."

Butt's influence and hard work over the years has seen Rashford forecast as the most valuable footballer on the planet, alongside Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.