Man Utd on ‘red alert’ over £43m Liverpool target as Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘furious’ with Chelsea

Will Ford
Ratcliffe Araujo Koopmeiners
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen on both Ronald Araujo and Teun Koopmeiners.

Manchester United have been put on ‘red alert’ over one of their top transfer targets this summer as Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been left ‘furious’ by a potential Chelsea hijack.

As United prepare for the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday their recruitment staff are busying themselves in preparation for next season.

Whether that will be with or without Erik ten Hag remains to be seen but they’re getting their ducks in a row anyway, with the new structure looking as though players will be signed without the head coach say-so in any case.

Man Utd battle Liverpool for Europa League star

One player on their radar is Teun Koopmeiners, who played a key role in Atalanta’s Europa League win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday and has been attracting Premier League interest for some time.

Reports earlier this month suggested Liverpool had stolen a march on their rivals, with compatriot Arne Slot’s arrival at the club a ‘determining factor’ in his transfer.

It’s thought Atalanta could now settle for a fee between €45m (£39m) and €50m (£43m) for Koopmeiners after originally demanding €60m from interested clubs.

And his comments ahead of the Europa League final are said to have put the United chiefs on ‘red alert’.

When asked whether he’d be at Atalanta next season, Koopmeiners hesitated before muttering: “I am very happy at Atalanta and now I just want to think about winning this trophy, then we will see. Let’s see, let’s see.”

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Ratcliffe’s ‘fury’

Ratcliffe and the lads have quite the rebuilding job on their hands, and as well as central midfielders they’re also in dire need of centre-backs.

Barcelona star Ronald Araujo is thought to be high on their list of targets, despite the 25-year-old being very happy in Spain. This all sounds very Frenkie de Jong-y.

Anyway, reports suggest Ratcliffe has been left ‘furious’ over Chelsea’s bid to steal in ahead of them to land the Uruguay international. It’s what they do, Jim.

It’s claimed Todd Boehly’s Blues have lodged a ‘major offer’ for Araujo, and though it’s not clear what that offer is, we can assume it is a significant one given Barcelona slapped an £85m price tag on his head amid interest last summer.