22 July 2024

News now:Watford set to part ways with technical director Ben Manga and his recruitment team…

It is increasingly likely that Watford technical director Ben Manga and his recruitment team will leave the Championship club following discussions on Monday.


Watford owner Gino Pozzo appointed Manga in December 2022 to work alongside existing sporting director Cristiano Giaretta.


But the Italian has had the arrangement under review for the last few months and The Athletic understands Pozzo has now made the decision to restructure the department.


Manga, who previously worked at Eintracht Frankfurt, was appointed alongside assistant coach and head of scouting Helena Costa, as well as Raffael Tonello, who was in charge of academy recruitment.


When Manga made the move from Germany eight other scouts joined the Watford ranks.


It is understood that a final decision has not been made on every member of Manga’s team.


Manga has four more years remaining on his contract at Watford and a severance agreement will have to be finalised with him and his entire team if they are all to depart.


When Manga was appointed there was uncertainty as to how the division of responsibilities would unfold. Internally it is known that the new arrivals and existing members of the hierarchy did not see eye to eye on some issues.


The new recruitment team were directly involved in only a small number of additions since their arrival. Henrique Araujo and Joao Ferreira arrived from Benfica in January 2022, with Ismael Kone signed from Montreal.


But their impact was reduced in the summer due to the club’s limited budget for new signings. Manga did play a role in the appointment of Valerien Ismael, however, with the head coach last week signing a contract extension.


Watford, who sit 20th in the Championship table, declined to comment when contacted by The Athletic.

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