Ratcliffe’s ‘only approved’ Man Utd summer signing revealed as ‘five-window plan’ emerges

Lewis Oldham
Incoming Man Utd investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has taken over football operations at Old Trafford.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly intends to be patient at Manchester United as the new co-owner has hatched a ‘five-window plan to transform’ the club.

It was announced on Tuesday night that Ratcliffe‘s purchase of a 27.7% stake in the Premier League giants has been completed and he has also taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.

This deal has been a long time coming and major changes are already in the process of being made behind the scenes. Omar Berrada has been brought in as United’s new chief executive and they are also hoping to recruit Dan Ashworth to become their director of football.

On the pitch, Man Utd have endured a rough season under Erik ten Hag but their performances and results have picked up in recent weeks. They are unbeaten in 2024 and have won four Premier League games in a row to close the gap on fourth-placed Aston Villa to five points.

After his takeover was announced on Tuesday, Ratcliffe said in a statement: “To become co-owner of Manchester United is a great honour and comes with great responsibility.

“This marks the completion of the transaction, but just the beginning of our journey to take Manchester United back to the top of English, European and world football, with world-class facilities for our fans.

“Work to achieve those objectives will accelerate from today.”

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A report from journalist Ben Jacobs for Caught Offside claims Ratcliffe and INEOS ‘have a five-window plan to transform Man Utd’. He explains.

‘Sir Jim Ratcliffe believes Manchester United need five transfer windows to restore the club to its former glory.

‘Those close to INEOS are clear that a patient recruitment strategy is needed. Ratcliffe has, and will continue to, waste no time in building a best-in-class recruitment team, but it’s understood the club’s financial muscle and infrastructure will take some time to catch up with the ambition.

‘Ratcliffe is aware from his due diligence that Manchester United can’t just go on a major spending spree this summer due to both UEFA’s Financial Fair Play and the Premier League’s Profit & Sustainability rules. There may be some moderate flexibility if Champions League qualification is secured this season, or around £100m is brought in via outgoings.’

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Man Utd have been heavily linked with Crystal Palace standout Michael Olise in recent weeks and according to Jacobs, ‘he is their only currently-approved summer target’. The report adds.

‘The Palace winger is open to the move. Most of the other INEOS-driven talk to date has been around positions not individuals, although they are naturally aware of other names that pre-date them.

‘Manchester United also want a striker and a centre-back, but they will have to get creative with the structure of deals in order to bring in three established players this summer, or rely on outgoings to fund their business.

‘Brailsford and to an extent Ratcliffe personally, also plan to be hands-on in ensuring key players remain at the club and, where applicable, are adequately compensated.

‘This could mean a new deal for Kobbie Mainoo, even though he only extended last February until 2027 with the option of an extra year. Ratcliffe wants to keep Marcus Rashford, despite concrete PSG interest.’