Jim Ratcliffe's potential Man Utd investment assessed | Football Digest
Manchester United’s new incoming chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is primed to make a whole host of changes to the club’s structure after being left stunned by their strategy in the transfer market, but Erik ten Hag could survive the cull despite facing pressure over his position. Reports suggest the former Ajax head coach’s previous success last season has not been forgotten by Ratcliffe as he prepares to take charge of the club’s football operations.
Ratcliffe looks set to complete his £1.3billion buy-in for a 25 per cent stake of the Red Devils on Monday after Sheikh Jassim withdrew from contention to purchase the club outright from the Glazer family.
And one of the major tasks Ratcliffe is facing is overseeing a huge overhaul of the club’s recruitment team and scouting network, with the British billionaire reportedly far from happy with the club’s business in the transfer market.
Ratcliffe has held discussions with co-chairman Joel Glazer over United’s football structure, with the INEOS CEO set to make a series of new appointments to change the fabric of United’s hierarchy.
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According to The Sun, CEO Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and director of football operations David Harrison are all ‘in jeopardy’ as a result, but Ten Hag is set to remain in charge for the time being.
In the last decade following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, United have splashed out an incredible £1.4bn on players. But they are yet to add another league title to their collection of 20, with their only cup successes coming in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Europa League.
The 71-year-old is understood to be ‘shocked’ that United have wasted so much money for such a little return in terms of success. Record signing Paul Pogba, who cost £89m to sign from Juventus in 2016, was allowed to leave on a free transfer and expensive purchases like £40m man Donny van de Beek don’t even make the matchday squad on occasion.
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Ten Hag isn’t without blame for his part in their recent spending, with over £400m spent across two summers and the fact £85m signing Antony has struggled has not helped the Dutchman, although Ratcliffe accepts that the 53-year-old’s achievements in finishing third and winning the Carabao Cup gives him some prestige.
However, Ten Hag’s results have been far from impressive this season and with nine defeats in 18 games across all competitions, he has presided over the worst start to a season from any manager since Ferguson’s retirement.
But he looks set to be given time to turn their season around, even after their 4-3 defeat to FC Copenhagen left their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase hanging in the balance.
The club are set for a clearout in January with exiled star Jadon Sancho set to leave just two years after his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund and Antony linked with a move back to his native Brazil. Anthony Martial is another name set to be axed, while the future of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro and Raphael Varane look uncertain at Old Trafford.
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