Man Utd ‘know’ Barcelona want crucial youngster, with Ratcliffe plan to fend off Euro giants in place

Ciaran McCarthy
Kobbie Mainoo, Barcelona
Kobbie Mainoo is wanted by Barcelona.

Manchester United are reportedly aware of potentially dangerous interest from Barcelona in Kobbie Mainoo, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe is therefore planning to tie him down and add to his valuation.

Rarely in recent years has a Manchester United youngster come into the side and looked as at home as Mainoo. He’s cemented himself as a crucial cog in Erik ten Hag’s system immediately, and looks to be one of the first names on the teamsheet after just 35 appearances.

In a previous era, United were known for developing their own youngsters into superstars – with the likes of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and David Beckham reaching the top with them – but other than Marcus Rashford, that’s been less common of late.

As such, Mainoo is like gold dust, and United will want to keep him not only for his class, but for what he represents to the club.

Barcelona want Mainoo

Interest from Barcelona could therefore be dangerous. Indeed, it’s believed that the European giants are on Mainoo’s tail, and United are well aware of that.

As such, it’s said Ratcliffe is planning to tie Mainoo down and ensure he’s out of reach for other big clubs. The youngster is under contract until at least 2027, with another year potentially on the back of that.

But his last extension at Old Trafford came before he broke into the first team. As such, it’s believed a new deal would more accurately represent his standing at the club, and his value could therefore be too much for the likes of Barcelona.

According to recent reports, new Barca boss Hansi Flick is the driving force behind the club’s interest in midfield maestro Mainoo.

And it’s believed he’s willing to get rid of Raphinha in order to finance a deal for the Englishman.

But it looks as if United will be able to fend them off, as there’s little doubt that academy man Mainoo would want to stay and fight for his boyhood club after becoming a fixture of the side so soon after making his debut.

If he’s not tied down soon, though, a good Euros could lead to more interest from big sides.

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