EXCLUSIVE: Sir Jim’s Brit Pack! £1.3bn Man United investor Ratcliffe will tell new-look recruitment team to go for homegrown talent over foreign stars, as details of his early plans and targets are revealed
- The British billionaire will take control of the football operations with a 25 percent stake
- United has mainly focused on the foreign transfer markets in recent transfer periods
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be the biggest threat to Erik ten Hag. Listen to why It all starts
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is to task a new-look Manchester United recruitment team with prioritizing homegrown talent as he aims to return the club to the top flight of English football.
The INEOS chief executive is closing in on a 25 per cent stake in United as his £1.3 billion buyout moves closer to completion.
Ratcliffe’s group will take control of United’s football operations and have already started planning an overhaul of their recruitment structure.
Mail Sport has learned that the billionaire businessman is keen to see more of a domestic presence – especially within the core of the team – at United.
Historically, United have shown a commitment to showcasing local and domestic talent, but in common with many other clubs there has been an increased focus on the overseas transfer markets in recent years.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe will take control of Man United’s football operations with his 25 percent stake
Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson was praised as a fine developer of homegrown talent
Only seven of United’s most important signings since his departure have been British, including Harry Maguire
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Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013, only seven of United’s biggest signings have been homegrown: Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Jonny Evans.
And well-placed sources have indicated that Ratcliffe, who has seen United dominate English football under Ferguson with a core contingent of British players, wants to add a domestic flavor to United’s international squad, provided of course they are good enough.
The UK market is widely depicted as over-inflated, with many Premier League clubs believing they can get better value for money abroad.
And while United’s transfer policy under INEOS will ultimately be determined by financial constraints, there is a will from Ratcliffe to buy Brits.
The fact that prospective signings have already experienced the rigors of English football is seen as a key reason why INEOS thinks buying British would be beneficial.
INEOS sporting director – Sir Dave Brailsford – is ready for a strategic role at Old Trafford once the buyout is confirmed.
The position of the club’s current director of football, John Murtough, will be under threat as INEOS considers appointing at least two new senior recruitment managers.
Paul Mitchell, formerly of Spurs, Monaco and Southampton, is in the running to secure one of those positions, while Michael Edwards – formerly of Liverpool – is also admired.
Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth has been linked but is expected to remain at St James’ Park.
INEOS sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford would play a key role following the takeover
The club are keen to secure the signature of Brentford’s Ivan Toney but face stiff competition from Premier League rivals
United are currently keeping a close eye on Brentford striker Ivan Toney ahead of the next two transfer windows.
Toney is expected to leave in the summer but United will face Arsenal and Chelsea for his signature.
The thought of a move to Arsenal would appeal to the England international, but the Gunners are keeping their options open in their search for a striker with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen the other names Mikel Arteta is considering.
United are also interested in Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi, but the England defender is unlikely to be available until the summer and will cost at least £60m.