Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘wants’ to complete £34m deal for Brazilian wonderkid; keen on Aston Villa defender

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Thalys
Thalys has been linked with a move to Man Utd.

New Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘wants’ to complete a deal to sign Palmeiras starlet Thalys in the summer, according to reports.

The British billionaire has highlighted his belief that it’s better for the Red Devils to target young players for the future rather than players who are the finished article.

Ratcliffe ‘wants’ to sign Palmeiras youngster Thalys

When asked whether he would rather sign Tadej Pogačar for his INEOS cycling team or Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe for Man Utd, Ratcliffe told the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast last month: “What I would rather do, I would rather find the next Mbappe, rather than spend a fortune to just try and buy success.

“It’s not that clever, is it? Buying Mbappe. In a way. Anyone could figure that one out. But what is much more challenging is to find the next Mbappe or the next [Jude] Bellingham or the next Roy Keane.”

And young Palmeiras striker Thalys fits the bill and Brazilian website Bolavip has relayed journalist Jorge Nicola’s claim that Ratcliffe ‘wants a deal’ for the Brazilian wonderkid.

He insists that the approach ‘was just a survey and a concrete proposal would still take a while’ and it’s understood that Man Utd ‘must continue to evaluate the jewel and wait for him to have his first minutes as a professional to make an offer’ with Thalys having a release clause of €40m (£34m).

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Man Utd are likely to also look to strengthen the centre of their defence with Football Transfers claiming that the Red Devils ‘could make a move’ for Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa.

The Red Devils ‘were alerted to Konsa’s frustration at his contractual situation at Villa Park last summer and had the England international on their transfer shortlist’.

Villa ‘were reluctant to sell and opted to more than double the 26-year-old’s wages’ but Man Utd ‘are still thought to be admirers of Konsa, although there is an acceptance that the player’s valuation would be significantly higher following his renewal’.

Former Man Utd winger Lee Sharpe thinks the Red Devils need to bring in a new striker in the summer to help support Rasmus Hojlund next season.

Sharpe told Squawka: “I think (Rasmus) Hojlund has started to produce what we were expecting of him, in the last six or eight games. I don’t think he’s had the service to score the goals that he is capable of.

“But I also think he’s a young lad and needs a bit of support. He’s not really had a lot of support with (Anthony) Martial being injured as well. I think you’d also probably look at a defensive midfielder.

“I think (Christian) Eriksen and Casemiro have probably struggled a little bit with legs this season and been running around a little bit. Other than that, I think right-back, I think we’re covered. Luke Shaw, I think he’s one of the best left backs, if he can stay fit.”

Sharpe: Man Utd would have to go on a consistent run from now to get top four

On Man Utd’s chances of making the top four, Sharpe added: “Well, mathematically, they still have a chance, so they still have to go for it. And you sort of expect (Aston) Villa and Tottenham to drop points. But for United to qualify for the top four, that would mean United would have to go on a consistent run from now to the end of the season, without pretty much dropping any points.

“You half expect a Man Utd team to go on and do that at some point in the season, but this season that seems to be slightly out of their reach. They have a good result and then a poor result and then a good result. And it seems to be the story of the season.”