Man Utd takeover: ‘Key twist’ sees Ratcliffe favour Prem chief over ex-Spurs director ahead of ‘sack’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd takeover
Manchester United bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

According to reports, Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman to become Manchester United’s new director of football.

Ratcliffe is on the brink of completing a deal to buy a 25% stake in the Premier League giants for a fee of around £1.25bn.

The INEOS chief has been left as the main candidate in the Man Utd takeover race after Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim withdrew his interest in the Premier League outfit.

The Brit – who already owns Ligue Un outfit OGC Nice – is unlikely to become Man Utd’s majority stakeholder for a couple of years but he will take control of footballing matters at Old Trafford as soon as his deal is finalised.

This is expected to be completed before the January transfer window and changes are already being made behind this scenes. Chief executive Richard Arnold will leave the club before the end of this year and he is expected to be followed by director of football John Murtough.

Ratcliffe is ramping up his efforts to appoint a new director of football and Football Insider are reporting that Freedman is a ‘leading candidate’ to join Man Utd.

The 49-year-old, who has previously managed Crystal Palace, Bolton and Nottm Forest, returned to Selhurst Park in 2017 to become the Premier League club’s sporting director.

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Freedman has worked wonders at Palace in recent years as he has helped them sign Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise, Marc Guehi and Cheick Doucoure. The report from Football Insider adds.

‘The current Palace sporting director, 49, is firmly in the frame for the role with incoming United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe believed to be an admirer.

‘Paul Mitchell, formerly of Southampton and Tottenham, has also been in the running – but has now believed to have slipped down the pecking order of potential candidates.

‘This news comes after Football Insider revealed on 24 November that Ratcliffe is planning to sack current football director John Murtough once the new investment is completed.

‘Mitchell, who last worked at Monaco, was expected to be among the top options for the INEOS Group once their takeover cleared – but Freedman has now emerged as an alternative, and has the backing of Ratcliffe in a key twist.

‘The British billionaire is planning a radical shake-up at Man United once he takes the reins at Old Trafford.’

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