Alan Knill has a huge decision to make regarding his future after new role offer
Previously Chris Wilder’s assistant before the 53-year-old’s departure earlier this month, Knill, Darren Ward and Matt Prestridge were all absent at Stamford Bridge where Jason Tindall and Matt Duke assisted caretaker Paul Heckingbottom.
Heckingbottom has admitted he wants Knill to remain at Bramall Lane throughout his tenure, which is scheduled to last until the end of the season.
Knill received permission to miss the tie as he considers a proposal to become United’s de-facto director of football.
Although United’s hierarchy have not confirmed the exact details of the proposal they have tabled - and the 56-year-old also refusing to comment - it is understood to involve handing him responsibility for overseeing the club’s overall strategy and policy.
If accepted, that would almost certainly see Knill, who remained on staff when Wilder parted company with United 24 hours before their 5-0 defeat by Leicester City, relinquish his day to day duties on the training ground. It is thought Knill will decline.
Although the length of the contract Knill has been offered is unclear, he must consider his options carefully because it could prohibit him from working with Wilder again when he returns to management.
Celtic and West Bromwich Albion, who as The Star recently revealed placed his name on a shortlist of potential candidates before Slaven Bilic’s appointment, are two possible destinations.
Tindall joined United when Wilder’s exit was officially announced following months of politicking behind the scenes.
Having worked at AFC Bournemouth and Burnley before heading to South Yorkshire, Tindall has yet to discuss his long term ambitions at United. But his role, as Heckingbottom’s de facto number two, provides enough separation to prevent him from becoming tarnished by the poor results which have left United cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table.
However, owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is also known to be considering external applications for the post.
Knill is expected to shortly announce whether or not he has accepted or declined the invitation to continue working with United.