Meet the three men Sir Jim Ratcliffe will task with making Man Utd great again

Man Utd are making huge changes ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe coming into the club | Football Digest

The fabric of Manchester United is set to change dramatically when Sir Jim Ratcliffe finally announces he has acquired a stake from the Glazer family. The British billionaire is set to purchase a 25 per cent stake worth £1.3billion from the American owners and will assume control of football operations, bringing in his team of trusted lieutenants and key operators to help turn around the club’s fortunes. Express Sport looks at three possible appointments that could follow his arrival as the INEOS chief makes his mark at Old Trafford.

Sir Dave Brailsford

The former British Cycling supremo is a performance director of British Cycling and currently operates as team principal of UCI WorldTeam Ineos Grenadiers. The 59-year-old is a close confidant of Ratcliffe’s and will have a major hand in the INEOS CEO’s dealings at Old Trafford.

According to the Daily Star, Brailsford was at the club’s Carrington training base on Monday to meet staff and those players not on international duty as he gets to grips with the task at hand. He will take a new role that will see him be in charge of elite performance, with Brailsford keen to conduct an overhaul of issues within the squad.

He will oversee Erik ten Hag’s training methods and schedules, nutrition, fitness programmes and even the players’ sleep patterns to ensure the Dutchman is extracting maximum performance from his squad. Brailsford has been heavily involved in a similar role at OGC Nice, the Ligue 1 club where INEOS are majority shareholders. And it seems to be a blueprint that is working well, with the French Rivieria-based oufit currently second in the standings behind PSG.

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Jean-Claude Blanc

Lionel Messi may be out of reach for United these days, but what about the ‘Messi of sports business’? Introducing Jean-Claude Blanc, the French business guru who has been lauded by the club’s CEO Fabrice Boquet as a miracle worker: “He is a bit like the Lionel Messi of sports business,” Boquet told L’Equipe. “It is not only a question of expertise but of interpersonal skills. He brings his vision, his network, his calm, his experience.”

Blanc, who has an MBA from Havard Business School, has a long list of accomplishments in sport, with one of his most famous being the transfer of 150 cars to Libya after a terrorist threat threatened to scupper the Dakar Rally back in 2000. Thanks to his composure in a time of crisis, the race went ahead as planned and a potential disaster was avoided.

Having helped turn around the French Open his innovative ideas, Blanc has also dabbled in turning around clubs with worldwide appeal such as Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain during crisis periods – and it is easy to see why United would appeal in that sense.

When he left PSG for Nice after being wooed by Ratcliffe, his departure was seen as a huge blow to PSG after watching a total of 28 trophies land in their silverware cabinet in his 12 years at the club. And that can only be a good thing if he follows Ratcliffe to Manchester to replace departing CEO Richard Arnold.

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Paul Mitchell

A sporting director with experience of working at some of the biggest clubs in the world, Mitchell’s recent departure from AS Monaco cannot just be a coincidence as United look for a transfer chief to work with Erik ten Hag.

The Englishman is said to be the frontrunner for the role, according to Foot Mercato, with Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman and ex-Liverpool transfer expert Michael Edwards also linked with the post. He was head of recruitment at RB Leipzig, Southampton and Spurs, giving him a mixture of experience in England and other major European clubs, which may prove beneficial as United try to build a squad for the future.

Mitchell, 42, has been instrumental in signing some top players over the years, with Sadio Mane, Christopher Nkunku and Son Heung-min among his success stories. If he can work to a similar level at United and is happy to head Ratcliffe’s new scouting and recruitment personnel, it may solve the issue of wasting hundreds of millions on players of the wrong profile like some argue John Murtough has.

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