What Can Be Expected Under Sir Jim Ratcliffe Over The Next Few Months?

Following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 27.7 per cent acquisition of Manchester United, he has been eager to make his mark. In official terms, his company, Ineos Group, controls operations at the football club, and, as such, no time was wasted after he appointed Omar Barrada from rivals Manchester City as the club’s new CEO.

Continuing his cherry-picking of board-level Premier League talent, Dan Ashworth was lured from Newcastle United as the club’s new sporting director, also being tasked with having a hand in recruitment strategy.

8What appears to be the order of the day under Ratcliffe and provides a major clue as to how life at Old Trafford will be from now on is that he is someone who ‘gets things done’. The last few months certainly demonstrate that.

While the initial moves are encouraging in terms of rebuilding from the top, the next few months are intriguing more than anything, and a number of question marks remain.

Under What Circumstances Would United Change Manager?

It is fair to say that Eric Ten Haag has not had an easy run of things since his appointment as Manchester United manager, though, realistically, which of their managers since Sir Alex Ferguson retired has?

Qualifying for the Champions League last season, winning the Carabao Cup and reaching the FA Cup final in his debut campaign is quite possibly what is keeping him in his post currently, in addition to still being in this season’s FA Cup after a stirring victory over fierce rivals Liverpool in the last round.

There is the feeling, though, that something still isn’t quite right, and already bookmakers are determining odds for a number of potential replacement managers at football sites such as here; however, the major question is, who would actually want the job?

Certainly, Ratcliffe appears to be the type of person who is painstaking, if not ambitious in his approach as his last two appointments suggest and if a new manager looks likely, then fans have a reason to be optimistic.

Even if Ten Haag steers United into a top four place and wins the FA Cup, it may not be enough to save him based on the club’s performance in the Champions League this season.

Likely Managerial Contenders

The biggest question is whether United stay domestic or look to one of the top managers from around Europe.

Ratcliffe’s ambition and sales pitch likely has enough strength to it to convince most managers, in addition to the prestige surrounding the club.

Ruben Amorim, currently in charge of Portuguese high-fliers, Sporting Lisbon is a name who has been linked to top jobs over the last couple of years, while Roberto de Zerbi of Brighton  has been name-checked by a number of top clubs, most recently Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

United fans will be desperate to get back to the traditional, swashbuckling style of play that they were so used to under Ferguson and a manager who suits this profile is likely to be top of the list.

Interestingly, England boss Gareth Southgate has been linked recently, though these rumours appear to be wide of the mark. At least for now.

Summer Clearout Planned?

There are reports that regardless if a new manager is hired, Ratcliffe is understood to have identified as many as 10 players who are surplus to requirements, Anthony Martial, rumoured to be one of these.

It is also no secret that Jadon Sancho could well make his loan move back to Borussia Dortmund permanent and in total the club should be able to pull in at least £100 million from player sales, freeing up a good deal on the wage bill.

Add into that whatever Ratcliffe makes available, it would suggest that United, with the right manager, could embark on a very intriguing recruitment campaign this summer.

There is a whole host of young exciting talent across Europe that will undoubtedly, catch the eyes of numerous clubs, though, United may start closer to home. It is no secret of Ratcliffe’s desire to bring in Everton’s talented, young centre back Jarrod Branthwaite who could displace Harry Maguire at both domestic and international level over the course of the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, surgery is likely in midfield, with veteran high earners such as Christian Eriksen likely to leave, with numerous options, both home and abroad being a possibility.

It also will be interesting to see how much say the manager has on transfers, or whether this will fall under Ashworth and Ratcliffe’s domain.