Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to take over footballing operations at Manchester United as part of his £1.3 billion investment to secure 25 per cent of the club.
The British billionaire will be joined by Sir Dave Brailsford and Joel Glazer on a board that will decide the footballing decisions at United, with the Ineos chief having the majority of power in this realm.
Changes are expected when the process is eventually ratified and Ratcliffe comes into the fold. The likes of John Murtough and Richard Arnold will feel like their days are numbered once the Ineos team take over.
Despite reports circling that Erik ten Hag’s job is currently in danger, following a tragic start to the 2023/24 campaign, the recent noises are that Ratcliffe is not looking to replace the Dutchman right now.
However, he is instead looking to change his role and influence at Old Trafford. Ten Hag has had a key role in transfers for the club since joining and many have questioned the level and suitability of the targets he has acquired.
Ratcliffe is reportedly aiming to strip the manager of his current transfer powers and instead put the responsibilities of player recruitment into the hands of “experts”, leaving Ten Hag with more availability to coach the current players.
With Paul Mitchell, the well-respected sporting director, also rumoured to be a target for Ratcliffe, it makes sense to lower the responsibilities of the manager in this regard.
However, recent reports from Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail have stated that Ten Hag is continuing to play a ‘key role’ behind the scenes concerning January’s recruitment plans and talks over contract extensions.
United are reportedly looking at the potential of bringing in a striker in the midseason window, as well as a defender if the budget allows.
For Ratcliffe, who seemingly wants to take these responsibilities away from Ten Hag, it is likely frustrating that he needs to wait for the details to be ironed out until he can adjust this structure.
The news that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is likely to have his current contract extended by 12 months instead of getting a new deal entirely was a sign that United were holding off on major decisions until the new set-up was in place. This news, however, seems to go against that notion and towards the ‘business as usual’ club line.
Yet, the idea that Ten Hag will be key in January recruitment plans does not seem like the idea that Ratcliffe and his team had. They will be hoping to come into the club as soon as possible to implement their own structure.
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