Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd exclusive: Mourinho reunion on cards as Ratcliffe gets ruthless over cheap defender exit

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ready to wield the Man Utd axe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ready to wield the Man Utd axe

TEAMtalk have been told that Manchester United are willing to listen to offers for a veteran centre-back this summer as Sir Jim Ratcliffe gets to work on revamping Erik ten Hag’s underperforming squad.

United will go into the 2024/25 with Ten Hag at the helm again after going against common opinion and sticking with the Dutchman for the final year of his contract.

It had been heavily reported that Ten Hag would be shown the door after a disastrous campaign that at least ended on a positive note with victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

The manner of that win over United‘s bitter rivals certainly helped Ten Hag’s case, although the fact Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino turned down the role also had a massive part to play in the club’s overall decision.

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It’s also claimed that talks of a contract extension are planned, although the focus for Ratcliffe’s newly-formed football operations team is now on recruitment and offloading fringe players.

To that end, TT can reveal that the Red Devils are willing to walk away from Swedish defender Victor Lindelof this summer.

Upgrading at centre-back has become one of the major priorities for Ratcliffe, with countless names already linked with moves to Old Trafford.

Chief among them is Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite, with Ratcliffe keen to secure a deal that does not mean United overpaying for the £70million-rated talent.

Elsewhere, United are also looking at Crystal Palace and England star Marc Guehi, who is expected to cost slightly less than Branthwaite.

The Red Devils have also been tipped to spring Goncalo Inacio’s £51m release clause at Sporting Lisbon, while Matthijs De Ligt is another centre-back they’re tracking and the Dutchman can be plucked from Bayern Munich for just £43m.

Wolves’ Max Kilman – valued at £45m – is another to watch out for if West Ham fail to spring a deal.

Lowball Lindelof price set

But for United to bring in at least one new centre-back, one or two will need to be offloaded first and Lindelof is an expendable asset.

TT have been told that United are willing to let the 29-year-old leave for less than £10m, given that his contract runs out in the summer of 2025.

Jose Mourinho’s new club Fenerbahce have a particular interest in the player, which is not all that surprising given that it was the Portuguese tactician who brought Lindelof to Old Trafford from Benfica back in 2017.

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There are also suitors from Serie A for a player who made 28 appearances in all competitions for United last season.

In total he’s appeared 259 times for the Red Devils in his seven years in Manchester, winning the FA Cup and League Cup during that time – both under Ten Hag.