Manchester United are set to follow the example set from by their Premier League rivals Manchester City by scouting a new partner club in Spain, according to a report.
It's been a controversy-filled start to the season for United both on and off the pitch. On the pitch Jose Mourinho's side have struggled, winning their first game in five matches on Saturday as they came back from 2-0 down to beat a struggling Newcastle United side 3-2 at Old Trafford.
They currently sit in eight place in the Premier League having picked up 13 points from a possible 24 to start the season, and a number of off-field incidents which were made public have also brought some unwanted attention to the club.
It seems like a long while since United were dominating the Premier League, however officials look to be starting a restructuring process of the club behind the scenes.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca (via Sport Witness), the Red Devils are on the look out for a new partner club in Spain, in an attempt to improve youth player development and increase playing time for fringe players.
(Above: Manchester City's Patrick Roberts on loan at partner club Girona in La Liga)
A number of Premier League sides already have this system set up, with rivals Manchester City working alongside La Liga side Girona in a similar scheme. This summer, City youngster Patrick Roberts made the swap from the Etihad Stadium to the Estadi Montilivi in search for more regular game time.
The partnering system also allows the club to send any of their players to the club they're partnered with for a short period of time whilst also having more power over the deal rather than a typical loan move.
Crucially, it’s also a way of signing players from outside the EU who would be unable to get a work permit and may be an option for getting around issues regarding the signing of young European players post Brexit.
There is no word from the report on which club United will potentially be looking to partner with, however it looks as though they're considering the long-term stability of the club.
In the meantime, United fans will be hoping their side can kickstart their season after the international break when they take on a high-flying Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge on October 20.