Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Ricky Sbragia as their new Under-23 manager.

The Red Devils were without a Under-23 manager after Warren Joyce left his position to Old Trafford to take over as Wigan Athletic's first-team manager role in November 2016. However, he was shown the exit door after managing 24 matches for the Latics. He was announced as Australian A-League club Melbourne City in June.

In Joyce's absence, United's Head of Academy Nicky Butt was temporary managing Under-23s side. Sbragia, who was the club's reserves coach from 2002 to 2005, will return to replace the former Wigan manager.

A statement on United's official website read, "Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Ricky Sbragia as Under-23 manager."

Sbragia has the first-team experience as he went on to coach at all levels for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland and the Scottish FA. Butt, who was also the former midfielder at Old Trafford, believes the 61-year-old's experience in coaching will be vital for United Under-23s.

"Ricky brings a wealth of experience at all levels of football coaching. He has a great track record of developing young talent and is, of course, no stranger to Manchester United," Butt told United's official website.

"Ricky's knowledge and experience will help continue our important and key tradition of blooding young players into the first team. I am delighted Ricky has returned to the club in this important role as we look to continue our development of the Academy."

The new United Under-23 manager also expressed his delight after returning to his former club, where there is a new structure for the academy.

"I couldn't be happier to be back at Manchester United. It's an exciting time for the club, with a new structure for the Academy and a relatively new set of coaches and management team," Sbragia explained.

"I am really excited by the challenge of this role, the club has always been at the forefront when it comes to Academy football and I am delighted that the club continues to strive to be the best with its forward-thinking ideas for the future of youth football."

Ricky Sbragia
File photo of Manchester United's Under-23 manager during his time at Sunderland Getty