Sir Jim Ratcliffe may consider a significant overhaul of the sporting aspects of Manchester United, with a particular emphasis on their transfer activities.
It was billed as one of the biggest days in the modern history of Manchester United. Instead, today’s board meeting could be another day at the office.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen on investing in the club he supported as a child, though the suggestion is that it could still be a number of weeks before the club is close to any official agreement.
Thursday’s board meeting has been penciled into the diary for a long time, and there is no guarantee the agenda will be ripped apart at the last minute to vote on Ratcliffe’s proposed investment while there is still much to be decided.
Ratcliffe will want assurances about an eventual succession plan to take total control from the Glazers, while the current owners will themselves want clarity on how much money they stand to make and need total agreement from all the siblings on whether they want to lose control entirely.
The process could still be protracted, and there is no certainty of a deal being finalized. Supporters of Manchester United may need to exhibit patience, a quality they have already honed over time.
If the deal is realized, Ratcliffe will likely seek to make up for lost time and work on winning over skeptics. A crucial element of this could involve a review of the current club structure and the development of a comprehensive long-term strategy aimed at returning the club to the pinnacle of football.
The 71-year-old Sir Jim Ratcliffe has previously been critical of Manchester United’s spending since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, deeming it “shockingly poor.” His approach at Nice has been focused on grassroots development and nurturing young talent, and he may look to bring a similar philosophy to Old Trafford.
This perspective becomes particularly noteworthy in the context of the upcoming transfer windows and the long-term rebuilding of Manchester United under the current vision of manager Erik ten Hag. As things stand, the club is planning to make significant signings in the areas of full-back, center-back, central midfield, and attack during the next summer transfer window. However, these plans could evolve under a new sporting structure if other squad issues are identified. Additionally, there are expectations of player departures in various positions within the squad.
The Manchester Evening Newsrevealed that Bayer Leverkusen’s defensive pair, Jeremie Frimpong and Edmond Tapsoba, were both of interest during the summer when United considered approaches.
It seems certain United will sign at least one new central defender, and there is even the possibility they might sign two given Raphael Varane’s reoccurring injury issues, Harry Maguire’s uncertain future, and the fact that both Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans are out-of-contract next summer.
United have also been monitoring Brighton striker Evan Ferguson and could look to sign another recognised striker, with Anthony Martial’s future at the club still unclear.
Ten Hag could also push for another winger if Jadon Sancho does indeed leave the club, with the club lacking an experienced option on the right wing amid Antony’s struggle for consistency and the fact that both Facundo Pellistri and Amad are not ready for regular starting roles.
They will certainly look to sign at least one new midfielder, though that could end up being Sofyan Amrabat, whom the club has the option to buy for €25million when his season-long loan ends. Incorporating young Kobbie Mainoo could eliminate the need for another once he recovers from his injury.
United will also look to make improvements in the sales department, with a number of established squad players expected to leave the club unless their current situation drastically changes.
West Ham United had separate bids of £30m rejected for Scott McTominay and Maguire, who could both leave in pursuit of more regular football. Donny van de Beek is currently surplus to requirements, and Mason Greenwood should be sold.