Ratcliffe eats ‘just days after’ transfer-listing entire Man Utd squad; ‘five stars set to walk out’ on Liverpool

Editor F365
Marcus Rashford, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Joel Matip with the Liverpool and Manchester United badges
It is all kicking off at Liverpool and Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe was near a restaurant ‘just days after’ putting the Manchester United squad up for sale. And ‘five stars’ will ‘walk out’ on Liverpool.


It’s the faint hopes that kill you
Mediawatch cannot with a straight face criticise the Daily Mirror website for evaluating a Champions League semi-final between Dortmund and PSG through the Manchester United prism – after all, Jadon Sancho added himself to the list of reasons to sack Erik ten Hag – but this is nonsense:

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST! Sancho inspires Dortmund to win over PSG which ends Man Utd’s faint Champions League hopes and piles more pressure on Ten Hag

Manchester United are six points behind Tottenham – who have a game in hand – and each of their four remaining fixtures are against teams they lost to earlier this season.

Their ‘faint Champions League hopes’ were ended long before Dortmund secured one of those two extra spots next season for the Bundesliga.


Make a meal of it
The MailOnline avoid that awkward hindrance by simply ignoring the biggest club competition in world football to offer this breaking news atop their website:

The deal-makers’ dinner: Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc head to The Ivy to work out Man United’s next steps… and prepare ‘to put the WHOLE SQUAD up for sale’

People eat food. More as we get it.

In fact, more right now. Ratcliffe, Brailsford and Blanc were seen ‘just days after’ they ‘signalled a mass squad overhaul this summer’. Not sure whether the implication is that making Scott McTominay available for transfer should preclude them from having dinner but okay.

Brailsford, Ineos director of sport, has taken a key role as part of the new regime at Man United. The former British Cycling chief joined Ratcliffe at the The Ivy in Manchester in Wednesday night for a meeting billed as a working dinner.

Was it billed as such? Or is there some guesswork at play with three colleagues meeting up for dinner? Is there any indication they were trying to ‘work out Man United’s next steps’, or what those steps might be?

Nope. The entire extent of the 602-word story is that some men ate some food. Even less than that actually: three photographs were taken of some men, presumably having just eaten some food. It is not even mentioned what the cheapest possible meal they could have had on the menu was (white onion and truffle soup, chargrilled halloumi and profiteroles for £47, anyone?). It’s amateur stuff.


The real McCoist
Back to the Daily Mirror website, for it is there we discover how Ally McCoist ‘writes off Slot’s chances of winning Premier League with Liverpool’.

The fella has not even officially been appointed Jurgen Klopp’s successor yet and his title aspirations are already being dismissed. It seems strange and really not the sort of thing McCoist would actually do, but there it is in black and white.

Perhaps the quotes can offer some clarity?

I don’t know what he’s going to be like. He’s got a good track record at Feyenoord clearly. I think it is a rather sweeping statement to say that he’ll win the title in his first season with Liverpool.

Oh hold on…

Particularly when you don’t know what’s going to happen at Liverpool. There might be an exodus of one or two star players and if that is the case, then you’d have to say it’s going to be extremely difficult for them and him to come in and win the league in his first season.

See what’s happened here is that McCoist has suggested Slot might not win the Premier League in his first season as a manager in England after taking over the third-best team in England and coming up against two settled juggernauts under phenomenal coaches, and that has been extrapolated to mean that Slot will never at any stage win the Premier League with Liverpool.

How mortified the Mirror must be to realise they forgot to put ‘in his first season’ at the end of their headline. An entirely innocent mistake, Mediawatch is sure.

👉 Klopp v Salah blown into Liverpool empire ‘collapse’ by The Sun
👉 Why Arne Slot is WORSE than Ten Hag and yet somehow loads better


Walk out, through the wind
McCoist is wrong in one sense, mind: that “exodus of one or two star players” will actually be five, if the Daily Express website are to believed. And they are not. But let’s continue.

‘Five stars set to walk out on Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp this summer’ is their headline, and already alarm bells are ringing. Klopp is voluntarily resigning; why are players ‘set to walk out on Liverpool’ with him? There is no need for a show of solidarity here.

But what of these ‘five stars’? Who in the devil are they?

Joel Matip, Adrian and Thiago are up first. Their nine Premier League starts this season – all from Matip – will be sorely missed when their contracts expire at the end of the season; if they are to ‘walk out on Liverpool’ it will be because the Reds are showing them the door instead of extending their deals.

Next is Nathaniel Phillips, who has not started a Liverpool game since November 2022. And then there is Caiomhin Kelleher, who ‘may also be tempted to move on with the aim of nailing down a starting spot elsewhere’.

It will be fun to see Phillips and Kelleher ‘walk out on Liverpool’ with time remaining on their contracts. Can’t see any issues there.


Usually drink, usually dance, usually Babel
There is absolutely no point covering the Mirror‘s top story – ‘Liverpool drop hint on Salah’s Anfield future after angry Klopp row as unveiling for new kit leaves supporters divided’ – because everyone surely knows the game by now: a contracted player taking part in photoshoots advertising a new shirt bears absolutely no relevance to said player’s future.

Salah might stay at Liverpool this summer, but him taking part in their kit unveiling is in no way a ‘hint’ at that prospect.

But the same outlet does say ‘ex-Liverpool star claims Jurgen Klopp will return to management much sooner than expected’.

And if anyone is going to offer insight into the future plans of Jurgen Klopp, it is definitely Ryan Babel, with whom the German has absolutely never worked and really might never have met.


Maat casual
There is a similar ‘star’ problem involving Todd Boehly and some recent Chelsea quotes:

‘Chelsea star’s dad tears into Todd Boehly and confirms his son wants to seal move away’ – Daily Express website.

‘Chelsea star’s dad slams ‘money-hungry’ owners and explains why he wants to leave’ – Football.London.

‘Chelsea star’s dad slams owners and claims money ‘more important than club’s interests” – Daily Mirror website.

Ian Maatsen is a very good player. But he also has three career starts for Chelsea and more appearances with each of the four clubs he has been sent on loan to by them. A ‘Chelsea star’ he is not.


The most evergreen quote of the day
‘I have a different take on it’ – Simon Jordan on John Terry being right about the Andre Villas-Boas first-class plane seat thing, actually. But also Simon Jordan on literally anything.